At Sucafina, we are engaged in a multitude of sustainability projects that are delivering positive change in our supply chain. In this update for Q1 2023, we are sharing our most recent progress and the measurable impacts from some of these projects.

Promoting Climate Change Resilience

Climate change is impacting coffee production in in Indonesia. In order to support coffee farmers in the region, Sucafina Indonesia is collaborating with the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI) and World Coffee Research (WCR) to trial a newer coffee variety, Komasti, in West Java. The varieties currently grown in West Java are not thriving in the high-altitude, densely forested conditions there, and they aren’t resistant to changing conditions like drought and excessive rainfall. An estimated 500 to 600 farmers can visit this trial plot each quarter to observe the progress of this variety and learn how to implement the practices used on the demo plot.

Sucafina Indonesia has also built a community nursery to distribute coffee seedlings and promote coffee tree rejuvenation. Currently, the seedlings are about 5 months old. They will begin distributing seedlings in June. 

This isn’t the first seedling project we’ve been involved in Indonesia. Our Farmgate Initiative project, initiated in 2021, provides high-quality avocado seedlings to help farmers build integrated agroforestry systems on their farms. After speaking with farmers who wanted to reforest their land with avocado trees, Sucafina Indonesia partnered with Rikolto to help farmers in the Koerintji Barokah Bersama cooperative access high-quality avocado seedlings. The program has been so successful that, after distributing almost 700 seedlings, the farmers now have enough seedlings and we’re working with them to build another successful program involving capacity building and organic fertilizer. The Farmgate Initiative offers roasters a way to invest directly in the supply chains that are important to them, while providing clear sustainability reporting data.

Increasing Farmer Income

In Uganda, a program with IDH is working with 1,800+ farmers across 3 districts to build household living income, promote low-carbon farming practices, and increase regenerative agricultural techniques on farms. In 2022, the program provided 8 metric tons of organic fertilizer, planted 7,500 trees, conducted a range of farmer trainings, set up tree nurseries, established farmer loans, provided soil analysis, and helped farmers scale up from demo plots.

At Sucafina Kenya, a two-year partnership with AgriFI has supported farmers and helped them increase their net income through a variety of training programs. Farmers receive training on climate-smart and regenerative agricultural practices; governance and financial management techniques for cooperatives; and increasing gender and youth participation in the value chain. This program will wrap up in June 2023 with 18,500 farmers involved in the program.

Sucafina Rwanda (RWACOF) and their partner Kahawatu Foundation are helping farmers increase their income through innovative coffee pulp waste projects. When coffee cherry is pulped, the mucilage is often discarded and left to decompose in large piles. Now, Sucafina Rwanda is working with farmers to find new ways to use pulp to increase farmer income. They are installing a processing unit to dry cherry pulp at some of their washing stations so that the dried skins can be marketed as cascara. They are also pioneering uses of cascara as a source of pectin (which can be used in food processing). Selling dried cascara and cascara for pectin production provides additional income streams for farmers by utilizing a product that has typically been discarded. It also has positive environmental implications since coffee pulp will not be decomposing on land and causing nutrient run-off into the environment.

Sucafina Indonesia is trialing a similar program that will increase farmer incomes by utilizing cherry pulp. In Indonesia, they are improving incomes by increasing coffee tree fertility. They are transforming pulp into a nutrient-rich fertilizer that farmers can apply to enhance their coffee crop. With better-fertilized coffee trees, farmers can produce higher-quality cherry in larger volumes. So far, they’ve established a compost facility with a capacity of 10 metric tons in West Java. They will begin distributing fertilizer later this month.

These are just a few of our many socially oriented projects occurring across our origin operations. We remain focused on supporting positive, tangible, farmer-led change for our supply chain partners.