What Will It Take For Coffee Farmers To Make Processing Operations “Bluer”?

by | Sep 9, 2012

Key Insight

A sustainable solution requires wholesale changes to the incentive structure surrounding the coffee process.

There are many water-efficient technologies currently in use by farmers selling their coffee into specialty markets.  And there are some good reasons why there is still a relatively modest embrace of those technologies.  What will it take for more farmers to “blue” their post-harvest processes?

What we think.

The barriers to adopting more water-efficient technologies in the coffeelands can be overcome by public policy and industry standards that are stronger and more clearly communicated, backed by increased financial incentives for improved water resource management and expanded access to related goods and services.

More specifically, local governments and coffee buyers can communicate more clearly to coffee growers their expectations in this area, and additional resources must be mobilized through public and private sector channels to create stronger financial incentives for smallholder coffee farmers to improve water resource management at origin, including payments for ecosystem services, new financial product development, and/or value-chain co-investment.