… Coops are motivating their farmer members to stay in coffee, while improving the quantity and quality of potable water available for neighboring communities in origin.
In Blue Harvest, we have been working on improving water use efficiency and waste water treatment in wet mills, protecting water recharge areas in the farms by applying soil and water conservation practices (here and here) with a focus on regenerative coffee , as well as working with water system operators and water committees to improve the management and upkeep of their water systems and protection of their water sources. A few months ago, we highlighted the SCA farm profitability report and its conclusion that good agricultural practices do not always yield to higher income. Yet for the farmers, the practices have increased coffee yields, and farmers have obtained higher prices because Blue Harvest has identified and worked with buyers who care about water issues at origin and who are willing to partner in this process.
While we have been working with cooperatives, farmers and local actors on water issues, we have simultaneously improved farm yields and coffee quality. Through this process we have been able to demonstrate to coffee buyers the impact, and the cooperatives have been able to sell their coffee at higher prices by improving quality of their coffee and by protecting water resources.