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Adapting To Climate Change With Coffee Farmers In Peru

This 2 year project aims to improve the climate change resilience of the San Juan del Oro coffee cooperative and their 146 participating smallholder farmer members in southern Peru. We source a significant percentage of the coffee we sell, both in M&S Cafes and in our foodhalls, from Peru. Climate change is having a drastic impact there, causing increasingly erratic rainfall, rising temperatures and water scarcity issues. These changes impose new challenges for Arabica coffee farmers whose coffee yield and overall livelihoods depend on reliable rainfall patterns for crop irrigation and on a consistent climate to defend against pest and disease outbreaks.

Addressing these issues will enable farmers to continue to get an income from coffee long into the future. Better water management practices will also provide households with a more reliable and cleaner water supply, which should bring health and sanitation benefits.

The programme tackles the issues in three ways:
- Workshops across the community: training to increase awareness of water conservation and management issues
- Establishing improved infrastructure: tubes and tanks have been provided so farmers can more effectively collect and transport water to their farms for irrigation or processing, or provide a clean water supply to their homes
- Protection of water sources and soil conservation: areas at risk of erosion on farms are identified and financial incentives are given to plant and maintain trees in buffer zones around water sources, to protect them and prevent erosion. 

To date, 146 farmers have been trained and have received tanks and PVC tube kits. Over 1460 native trees have been planted in buffer zones. And, thanks to the successes of this project, a proposal is being developed for a new Peru-wide project looking at sustainable agriculture, amongst other issues.

The partners in this programme are:
- San Juan del Oro Cooperative – local cooperative of smallholder coffee farmers
- Matthew Algie – coffee supplier
- Twin Trading – ethical trading company
- Fairtrade Foundation
- Fondo Empleo – a Peruvian organisation designed to finance projects that enhance sustainable employment