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Efico Group donates US$90,000 to World Coffee Research

From the April 2018 issue.

Green coffee trader Efico Group has announced a US$90,000 contribution to World Coffee Research (WCR). This commitment will support the industry-backed, nonprofit research and development organisation to bring improved varieties and climate-smart agronomy approaches to farmers.

Efico’s contribution via its Foundation will support a global network of farmer field trials called the Global Coffee Monitoring Program, to test which combinations of improved varieties and climate-smart farming practices deliver the most profit to the farmer. The approach is innovative on multiple fronts, WCR said, testing improved technologies on a farmer’s own land and not in a research station; prioritising farmer profitability and return on investment; and working together with farmers, exporters, NGOs and governments to implement the trials.

In supporting WCR’s programme, Efico is actively seeking long term solutions that contribute to farmers’ resilience and profitability, reduce the impact of climate change and contribute to sustainable and productive coffee landscapes, said Efico Group CEO Michel Germanès. “Research-based field trials and knowledge transfer are essential to enhance the transition to a more sustainable coffee future. This will benefit all actors in the supply chain, with coffee farming communities at the forefront,” he said.

Efico will support a minimum of 12 sites in Guatemala and Honduras that will return data for at least five years. In 2018, WCR expects 180 farm trials will be installed. By 2022, the full network are expected to have nearly 1,200 trials ongoing.

The data from the network would allow the coffee industry to determine the combination of varieties and agricultural practices that are most profitable to farmers. From the data, statistically significant recommendations will be provided for maximising performance according to farm size, farming systems, elevation, soil type, shade cover, climate zone, and other variables. Data from the trials will be shared with producers and the coffee sector.

Partnering with WCR fits with Efico’s longstanding commitment to responsible entrepreneurship. With its Foundation, the group has supported about 65 sustainable, multi stakeholder projects, to a total of US$ 2.5 million, to improve the wellbeing of coffee producing families. Today, there is a specific focus on knowledge transfer, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, and sustainable income increase for coffee farmers.

Efico was the first green coffee trading company to commit to the 10 United Nations Global Compact Principles in 2003 and works in support of five of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are: SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals.   

“We believe the Global Coffee Monitoring Program is one of the most important research initiatives ever undertaken in coffee, and that the results will be transformative for the whole industry, but especially for farmers and local economies,” said WCR CEO Tim Schilling. “Efico’s support is going to help us bring this program to more farmers more quickly.”

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