Mercon Coffee Group partners with Conservation International

News Posted on July 14, 2021

MERCON COFFEE GROUP PARTNERS WITH CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND PROMOTE CARBON STORAGE ON COFFEE FARMS

In an effort to integrate natural climate solutions and reduce overall on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, Mercon Coffee Group, a global, green coffee supplier committed to creating sustainable livelihoods in coffee-growing communities, today announced that it has partnered with Conservation International, a nonprofit working to find nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, will be supporting this initiative.

The partnership will test ways to integrate natural climate solutions in coffee production. In addition, research will be conducted to understand how specific activities reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining optimal productivity levels.

The project starts with an assessment of Mercon’s in-house LIFT program, a sustainable production program that provides valuable tools, training, and services to coffee farmers and coffee communities. Through LIFT, Mercon works directly with thousands of small coffee producers to raise their quality of life by helping them improve productivity in a social and environmentally conscious manner. LIFT promotes good agricultural, environmental, and social practices among coffee farmers. For example, the assessment will make recommendations for the improvement of the program’s forest conservation and reforestation activities as well as efforts to optimize fertilizers use reduce greenhouse gas emissions on farms. Through this partnership, Mercon will be enabled to estimate the carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions on LIFT coffee farms in Mercon’s origins operations in Central America. Recommendations will be provided about economic incentive mechanisms for coffee farmers, which would encourage additional on-farm carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reduction.

“At Mercon, we are committed to positively impacting coffee producing communities to create a circle of prosperity in the coffee industry,” said Oscar Sevilla, CEO of Mercon. “We are fully committed to engaging with the right partners to help find innovative solutions and invest in research and technology that will help us find ways to solve the sustainability challenges ahead.”

“Investing in nature can help deliver a third of the emissions reductions we need to make by 2030. It’s one of the most important things we can do after ending our use of fossil fuels,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “Agriculture has a key role to play in these efforts, especially when it comes to crops as vital to the global economy as coffee. By seizing on coffee’s potential as a critical climate solution, we can help to slow the pace of global warming even as we create sustainable and resilient livelihoods around the world.”

There are many other benefits to farmers who implement more sustainable practices, not the least of which is ensuring that these farms remain in operation for years to come. Coffee is a very vulnerable crop, and as climate change threatens its viability, coffee farmers are facing significant threats to their livelihoods. By working directly alongside farmers in a mutually beneficial effort to increase sustainability practices and production across all origins, Mercon also hopes to highlight that it is possible to make coffee part of the solution to the global climate crisis.

For the implementation of this project, Mercon is receiving the support from IDB Invest, the largest development financial institution in Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of a financing package that includes a co-financing and advisory services to promote raising the living standards of coffee communities in the region and promoting a positive environmental and social impact.

“At IDB Invest we are committed to support the adoption of impactful climate action through climate financing and advisory services, while promoting inclusive business models. Thus, we are excited to support Mercon to lead the adoption of climate solutions and pave the road for a sustainable and carbon neutral coffee sector whilst improving the livelihoods smallholder coffee growers,” said Gema Sacristán, Chief Investment Officer of IDB Invest.

To contribute transforming the coffee sector, Mercon will share approaches and lessons learned through this project through the Sustainable Coffee Challenge as well as other industry networks. This highlights the importance of working together to achieve a common good and will ensure that will positively affect coffee communities and the industry at large.      

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