The impact of climate changes is already being felt worldwide; from changing weather patterns to increased pest activity. Coffee is particularly sensitive to changed climatic conditions. As a consequence coffee farmers are suffering reduced yields and lower quality crops. Coffee farmers in developing countries are unfairly carrying the burden of climate change and are ill equipped to adapt or mitigate the effects. Climate Neutral Coffee seeks to help these farmers and halt the pace of climate change before it is too late.
What is Fairtrade Climate Neutral coffee?
Growing, processing, transporting and roasting coffee uses energy and produces greenhouse gas emissions, causing damage to the environment and contributing to climate change.
Fairtrade Climate Neutral coffee is coffee that has had the emissions from its production reduced and offset, meaning it has no harmful effect on the environment.
How does coffee become Climate Neutral?
First, steps are taken to reduce the emissions generated in the supply chain, from the four greenhouse gases (carbon, methane, nitrous oxides, and fluorinated gases). Then the remaining emissions are offset through the purchasing of Fairtrade Carbon Credits. When emissions throughout the coffee supply chain are offset to zero, the coffee is said to be Climate Neutral.
What is special about Fairtrade Climate Neutral coffee?
Fairtrade Climate Neutral Coffee is unique in two ways.
Firstly, the compensation takes place in the coffee chain itself, directly with Fairtrade certified small coffee farmers. This means that the farmers are also receiving the benefits of the Fairtrade System, such as the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premium.
Secondly, the carbon credits used to offset the remaining emissions of the coffee production are also Fairtrade Certified. Fairtrade Carbon Credits are generated by Fairtrade coffee farmers through climate projects that reduce greenhouse gases, provide the communities with extra income, and additional benefits such as improved health.
What is the difference between Climate Neutral and Carbon Neutral?
Products that are Carbon Neutral generally only offset carbon emissions. However, Climate Neutral measures and offsets the emissions of all four greenhouse gases that cause climate change: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases.
What are carbon credits?
Carbon credits, in essence, are tonnes of carbon dioxide that have been prevented from entering or have been removed from the atmosphere. Companies and individuals can purchase carbon credits to take responsibility for the emissions they produce. Fairtrade carbon credits support small-scale farmers and rural communities by providing access to additional finance from climate projects and by assisting them to reduce their impact on the environment.
Want to read more about the impact of climate change on coffee?
Read the latest independent report release by The Climate Institute: A Brewing Storm: The Climate Change risks to coffee.
Fairtrade and Gold Standard have partnered together to create Fairtrade Carbon Credits, to support smallholder farmers and rural communities in reducing emissions and improving their resilience to the effects of climate change.