Coffee lovers listen up – coffee farmers around the world need you!

  • September 28, 2016

Small coffee farmer in Uganda


From blends to single origin, americano to mochacinno, this liquid gold is one of the few commodities that has its own lingo. Coffee lovers have turned coffee into a way of life relying on the holy espresso to act as social lubricant. The proverbial coffee culture is sustained by 25 million coffee farmers, spread across 70 countries. As International Coffee Day approaches, we’re asking you to help us raise awareness of the harsh conditions our beloved bean faces, before it’s too late. 

Impact of climate change on coffee

Extract from "A Brewing Storm"

With increasing global temperatures, your morning cuppa joe is not safe. In as little as 50 years, the growing area for coffee could be slashed in half forcing farmers into regions that could inevitably change the aroma and quality of coffee (Noooo!) The demand for coffee is rapidly escalating (about 5% annually), but the supply in the current climate and economic conditions poses a real threat. It is safe to say that climate change is causing havoc among coffee producers in our beloved Bean Belt.

As you can image, climate change and it’s potential to wipe out their livelihood is putting extra pressure on smallholder farmers who have had the least impact on the rise in our earth’s temperate. In many producing countries, coffee is a key industry, whereby entire families are dependant on the income earned from their coffee sales.

Having heard the international outcry for a more sustainable industry, several leading coffee companies, with the assistance of various organisations, have stepped in and created an initiative for coffee and climate. Fairtrade has also set up a Carbon Credits programme, empowering farmers to both cut emissions and raise their resilience to climate change. Smallholders now have improved access to tools and practices to respond to climate change.

Use your voice (and keyboard) to make a difference! 

How can YOU get involved? 

It’s not all doom and gloom though. In three simple ways, YOU have the power to make a difference.

  1. Learn about the impact of climate change for smallholder farmers and their communities in order to make informed choices.
  2. Fuel your daily activities by choosing coffee brands that are carbon neutral, guarantee a fair return to smallholder farmers and their communities, and help them build their capacity to adapt to climate change.
  3. Use your VOICE (and keyboard!) to demand action! Use the hashtag #IsYourCoffeeFairtrade from our retailers, coffee companies, government and even relatives!

Last but not least, drink responsibly, and help us keep Fairtrade’s flagship product alive. It was after all the drink that got us going. On International Coffee Day (Saturday, 1 October), let’s raise our cuppas to coffee smallholders and communities, organisations working to sustain the coffee market, and consumers demanding action from retailers and coffee companies. 


> Source: A research paper commissioned by Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand produced by The Climate Institute.

> Download the paper A Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee for more information