New climate change agreement to increase coffee farmer entry into carbon credit market

Fairtrade International (FLO) and The Gold Standard Foundation announced on 30 November an agreement to incorporate FLO principles into Gold Standard carbon projects, with the first credits expected by the end of 2013. Through Fairtrade’s network of farmer communities, the deal aims to allow thousands more smallholder farmers in developing countries to access the carbon market and receive finance to mitigate and adapt to climate change, FLO said in a statement.

The agreement was announced at the latest climate change negotiations (COP18) in Doha, Qatar. 

For farmers, FLO said that this provides an opportunity to receive financial support for their efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on their farms and communities, such as tree planting, reducing use of fertilizers and improved soil management. Some FLO farmers have seen yields decrease by up to 50 per cent over the past year, the organisation noted. Research suggests that, due to climate change, yields will continue to decrease, threatening farmers’ livelihoods, impacting food security and global supply chains. Several Global Coffee Review stories have highlighted how climate change is particularly affecting coffee farmers. 

“Rural communities and smallholders in developing countries contribute least to climate change yet are being affected the most and their efforts to mitigate are often not recognised,” said Andreas Kratz, Director of Strategy and Standards at Fairtrade International, in a statement. “This new collaboration will deliver much needed finance, ensuring smallholders benefit from the carbon market and drive development that is fair to both people and planet.”

“The growing collaboration between ‘best-in-class’ standards represents what the market wants – streamlined and simplified processes and reduced transaction costs. This will scale up and fast-track sustainable resource management and low carbon development,” stated Adrian Rimmer, CEO of The Gold Standard Foundation. “It’s the obvious choice for responsible corporates and project developers to make fair, transparent and credible environmental and social investments.”

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