May 2, 2023 – Cotacof, Sucafina's sister company in Tanzania, works holistically with partner Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) to provide support to farmers in Tanzania. Aurélie Mbonigaba, Supply Chain Coordinator, shares the latest updates and programs happening at Cotacof.

Fresh crop Tanzanian coffees have arrived or are arriving soon in most regions. “The 2022/2023 crop was 35% bigger for Robusta and 12% smaller for Arabica,” Aurélie says. This year’s Arabica harvest started about 3 weeks later than usual due to cold weather, and the size of the harvest was also smaller than the previous year’s.

Cotacof works hand in hand with AMCOS to source high-quality coffees. They work holistically, providing support on everything from financial recordkeeping to proper fertilization techniques. To further this work, Cotacof recently added 7 new full-time Field Officer positions. These field officers provide year-round technical advice to our partner AMCOS.

Cotacof has been supporting partner AMCOS as they work towards attaining their IMPACT-verification. IMPACT is Sucafina’s new responsible sourcing program. “We have started training farmers in our supply chain and aim to be IMPACT verified by Q3 this year,” Aurélie says. IMPACT elevates and rewards farmers for their role in reshaping the coffee industry for good and benefits farmers, traders and roasters alike. With IMPACT verification, farmers can demonstrate the sustainability of their farms and garner high price premiums for their hard work.

Just as IMPACT addresses the environmental impacts of coffee farming and the needs of farmers, Cotacof is also working on several other programs to improve the environmental impact of our supply chain. “In 2022, we used Trade in Space technology to assess our supply chain for deforestation,” Aurélie says. While they are continuing to as sess deforestation in the supply chain, they have also begun conducting a survey of farmers in 2 deforestation hotspots they identified. The survey is measuring farmers’ willingness to reforest and the results are helping Cotacof determine the best ways to communicate the importance of protecting forests with them.

In another project, Meo Carbon helped Cotacof to map the carbon footprint of our supply chain within Tanzania in 2022. They found that fertilizer input was a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Many farmers apply more fertilizer than necessary or don’t apply the best kind for their specific soil needs. Now, Cotacof is supporting farmers as they improve fertilization techniques and reduce the carbon footprint of each kilogram of coffee. They are also searching for new partners to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the farm level.