Rwanda And Mexico Are First Countries To Commit To Sustainable Coffee Challenge

Posted On: 6/21/2016

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TAGS: Coffee, vending, office coffee service, Rwandan coffee, Mexican coffee, sustainable coffee, Conservation International, Sustainable Coffee Challenge

ARLINGTON, VA -- Rwanda and Mexico are the first two countries to join a global collaboration aimed at making coffee the world's first sustainable agricultural product. The Sustainable Coffee Challenge is managed by Conservation International with initial funding from Starbucks, a founding partner.

Conservation International launched the initiative with 18 partners during the United Nation's climate negotiations in Paris in December. The challenge has since grown to 48 partners, including inaugural commitments from these two countries toward ethical and sustainable agricultural practices for their coffee sectors.

Coffee plays a major role in Rwanda's economy, with more than 355,000 small farm families growing it for their livelihoods. Rwanda's commitment includes efforts to increase production/yield per tree, improve soil fertility, strengthen farmer organizations, increase local coffee consumption, and improve the traceability along the value chain.

Mexico produces an estimated 2.35 million bags annually. The country's commitments include improving farm productivity, providing access to credit programs and improving the capacity and skills of the producers.

The challenge comes as warming temperatures, drought and changing weather patterns, compounded by market volatility and aging coffee trees, continue to damage the industry.