Why reward smallholder farmers for conservation and reforestation?

About 25 million smallholder farmers produce 80% of the worlds coffee. Smallholders are also the most dependant on forests for firewood, fuel and timber. Throughout Africa and Latin America, we have seen first hand how the most vulnerable displaced communities clear small plots of forest land to grow their food. Protecting forests is great in principle, but difficult in practice. So what do we do about this? We incentivise smallholders to plant trees and create buffer zones around standing forest. As a conservation led coffee company, all our coffees come from reforestation carbon projects. This is an innovative model using payments for ecosystem services to plant trees and reward smallholders for environmental stewardship. In practice it means, that we not only buy great organic single origin coffee, but we also make a payment for 1kg of carbon every bag and and 6kg of carbon for every tin that our customers buy. This creates new opportunities for our smallholder farmers to generate an extra income, and helps to provide alternative sources of fuel and timber. By promoting agroforestry, there is potential to contribute to food security in the long term.

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