News and knowhow for farmers

Rainforest Alliance introduces tool to help coffee farmers avoid being locked out of EU market

Share on social media

The leading coffee certification body, the Rainforest Alliance, is introducing a new tool to enable Kenyan coffee buyers and farmers to meet the European Union’s (EU) new forestation laws that endanger the livelihoods of over 200,000 smallholder coffee farmers by preventing them from accessing Kenya’s biggest coffee export market from 30th December 2024.

Only 30 per cent (85,745) of smallholder Kenyan coffee farmers are certified by the Rainforest Alliance and meet the EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR) compliance, meaning they will have continued access to the EU coffee market once the new laws kick in.

The EUDR Deforestation Risk Assessment Tool will allow non-Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee companies and farmers to quickly upload the geolocation data of their farms proving that their coffee does not come from land that had been a forest as of 31 December 2020 and generate reports to reach EUDR compliance.   

The web portal will require details such as the country (ies) the coffee is sourced from, the number of producers/ farmers, the number of hectares, the number of plots, and the estimated volume.

Read More:

EU forestation rules to lock out smallholder coffee farmers from 30th Dec

Strong local agriculture tourism growth drives up coffee farm earnings

The EU’s new deforestation regulation (EUDR) bars entry to the European Union of coffee produced from land that had been a forest as of 2020.

The laws aim to reduce the loss of forests, mainly caused by agriculture. More than half of deforestation is caused by converting forests into cropland, whereas livestock grazing is responsible for almost 40 per cent of forest loss.

To comply with EUDR, small farms must provide Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates while large farms (over four hectares) will give mapping polygons. This documentation will accurately trace the origin of coffee and other agricultural commodities (cattle, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, soya, or wood products) and ensure they do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation.

Such processes are overwhelming to most smallholder farmers placing them at a disadvantage compared to larger competitors and risks excluding them from lucrative European markets, worsening their economic outcomes.

“Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee companies have already taken significant steps to meet EUDR requirements, including submission of geolocation data. 

The Rainforest Alliance certification program has long emphasized traceability. Since January 1, 2014, certified farms have been required to submit geolocation data to prove that they have not engaged in deforestation or conversion of natural ecosystems, except under specific conditions. These policies help ensure compliance with the environmental standards of the EUDR when products enter the European Union market.

For uncertified farmers or those not receiving support from buyers, adapting to

Read More:

Embu coffee farmer 4X spraying costs in battle against berry borer

Growing trees with coffee arrests oncoming climate change doom, among numerous benefits

EUDR requirements may be more challenging,” explained Marion Nduta Ng’ang’a, the Rainforest Alliance’s Country Director for Kenya.

To be able to sell your coffee as Rainforest Alliance Certified, as a farmer, you’ll need to prepare your farm for an audit by an authorized certification body in your area which will inspect your field for an audit and ensure you are following Rainforest’s set Sustainable Agriculture Standard. 

Due to financial constraints, most smallholder farmers looking to be Rainforest Alliance Certified often rely on group management for certification.

Share on social media

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top