GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, March 29, 2022 — At Sucafina, we’re engaged in a multitude of sustainability projects that are aimed at positively impacting our supply chain. In this quarterly update, we’re sharing our most recent updates and the measurable impacts from some of these projects.
Expanding Sustainability at Sucafina
We’ve been hiring new in-house sustainability experts to ensure we’re properly organizing and reporting on our projects. We’re excited to welcome Dineshbabu Velumany, Sustainability Manager for Sucafina Indonesia; Andrew Makoye, Certification and Sustainability Manager for Cotacof, Sucafina's sister company in Tanzania; Delma Farokave, Sustainability Manager for Sucafina Papua New Guinea; and Ana Carolina Bernardes, Sustainability Manager for Sucafina Brasil. Having these specialists join our team will help us to increase our impact.
While these new hires have been onboarding, all of our sustainability managers – new and existing – recently took the SCA Sustainability certification course. Armed with more knowledge, we can continue to make a positive impact on the communities and programs within our supply chain. The Center, Sucafina’s educational arm, also began offering the Sustainability Reporting course, in partnership with the Chain Collaborative, to help continue education for new and existing leaders in the coffee industry.
In Burundi, the USAID-funded Tuyage project has taken off. In its first year, more than 406 members joined 7 new women’s associations. The program facilitates discussions and offers training programs that address the cultural, financial and legal barriers to women’s economic success. Of those women in the associations, 208 are applying entrepreneurship practices and starting their own businesses, and 400 of them are involved in Village Savings and Loan Associations. The associations have also started and maintained 8 demonstration plots for farmers, and 272 women have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices. We are thrilled by the progress so far and can’t wait to see what the women in the Tuyage project can accomplish next.
Kenyacof and Kahawa Bora, Sucafina's sister companies in Kenya, are also involving and empowering women in the supply chain. Female farmers are encouraged to attend farmer field days to learn about Good Agricultural Practices and more. Women are taking courses in beekeeping, livestock raising, and aquaculture to help them diversify their income streams.
In Colombia, Sucafina Colombia’s revamped Sucafina Originals will include a 3 cent per pound contribution to community-focused programs. Their first project helped to nurture the next generation of coffee community leaders by investing in young learners. Together with local partners and the Cooperativa de Caficultores del Occidente de Antioquia, the team brought school supply kits to 72 children in a rural school in La Aguada, a small village in Dabeiba, Antioquia. These kits will help children advance their education, paving the way for them to become future leaders in their communities.
Sucafina Indonesia is supporting farmers through two socially-focused coffee projects. First, their new coffee nursery entrepreneurship program helps farmers create seedling nurseries on their farms. Sucafina Indonesia provides nursery construction materials, polybags, planting materials and agro-inputs. Our field team and the nursery operators (farmer group members) also provide technical guidance to ensure high standards. Farmers can sell seedlings to garner additional income while providing high-quality seedlings to neighboring farmers. Second, they’ve started a trial plot in West Java in collaboration with World Coffee Research (WCR) and Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI). The plot is focused on promoting a new, high-yielding variety in West Java called Komasti. The outcome of the plot will be shared with the government coffee department to encourage them to offer Komasti to farmers.
In Rwanda, Sucafina is growing seedlings to distribute to farming partners. In 2021, Sucafina's sister company Rwacof, grew 1 million seedlings and distributed them to farmers in their supply chain. This year, their goal is to produce and distribute 4 million seedlings. Access to seedlings helps farmers renovate their farms and increase productivity.
In Kenya, we’re addressing food insecurity and climate change with two new projects. AgriFI, funded by the European Union, is helping us train 18,500 farmers about climate-smart agriculture and integrated environmental management practices. So far, we’ve trained nearly 6,150 farmers. PROMAK, funded by the German Investment Corporation, is reaching 800 lead farms with soil testing that will inform farmers about input needs and fertilization strategies. Complementing these actions, Sucafina Kenya plans to install 7 solar driers that will help improve coffee quality and reduce its energy footprint. With solar driers, coffee can dry, regardless of weather changes or energy access.
Another Sucafina Kenya project is reducing the environmental footprint of coffee and increasing farming communities’ access to energy. With funding from roaster-partners, Sucafina Kenya has installed 10 biodigesters that transform processing by products like pulp and animal and household waste into clean energy. They plan to install an additional 100 biodigesters over the course of the next 3 years, which will impact 16,000 farmers across the country.
In Uganda and Rwanda, our washing stations have begun implementing wastewater filtration that removes organic matter and purifies water. This filtration process is improving our environmental impact while paving the way for similar systems at other Sucafina washing stations. The water treatment system removes solids, neutralizes acidity and filters water so that it’s safe to use and drink.
In Brazil, our partnership with Cooxupé enables us to fund the Bell Springs water conservation project, which promotes the protection of springs by encouraging producers to establish new conservation zones along waterways. The supporting partners, Cooxupé, Farmer Connect and Sucafina, will provide seedlings for reforestation and fencing to prevent animals from damaging newly planted areas. There will be training sessions for farmers and staff on how to preserve water resources and protect conservation areas. Sucafina Brasil is also collecting data on its carbon emissions and providing technical support to farmers pursuing their 4C certification. The first certification audit will occur in May.
Sucafina has committed to supporting the Viveiro de Atitude project in Cerrado, Brazil. The project funds a tree nursery that grows 113 different native Cerrado plants and sells them at affordable prices to help regenerate and conserve the Cerrado biome. As part of their project, proceeds from the nursery are donated to nonprofits in the region that work with children and the elderly.
These programs are just a slice of the many socially-and-environmentally-focused projects in which Sucafina is engaged. Keep an eye out for more updates!