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Fifth Workshop of the Latin American and Caribbean Network on the Environmental Footprint of Coffee

17 October 2017|Event

On October 17 and 18, 2017, the Fifth Workshop of the Latin American and Caribbean Network on the Environmental Footprint of Coffee was held in Lima, Peru, seeking to incorporate environmental sustainability as a factor in export competitiveness.

The Latin American and Caribbean Network of the Environmental Footprint of Coffee aims to quantify and communicate to the international consumer the real environmental impacts of coffee. The Network is made up of a group of representatives of public and private institutions from eleven Latin American countries, linked to the production and export of coffee. The origins of the group - coordinated by ECLAC - can be traced back to the call made by the European Commission in 2013-2014 to participate in the determination of the environmental footprint of the products marketed in the European market.

The members of the Network met on October 17 and 18, 2017 in Lima to participate in the Fifth Workshop on the Environmental Footprint of Coffee, organized by the Division of International Trade and Integration (DCII) of ECLAC and PROMPERU, with the support of PROMECAFE.

The Workshop had more than 50 participants from Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic. Representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment and of Trade Promotion Agencies of some countries participated from the public sector. Representatives of producer and exporting associations participated from the private sector. Experts from international organizations, NGOs and project managers of international cooperation attended, as well as researchers from various academic centers.

Among the main conclusions of the Lima Workshop are the need for:

       • Environmental footprint studies. In several countries there are already environmental impact assessment exercises based on life cycle approaches to coffee production, which have guided and/or been used as a reference for the methodology of measuring the environmental footprint.
       • Learning good practices. Experts from countries that are beginning to quantify environmental impacts can incorporate good practices from those countries that have already had successful national experiences.
       • Ecosystem services for coffee cultivation. Scientific methodologies are known for quantifying the carbon sequestration of coffee plantations, and the Network proposes that this aspect be visible in the European environmental footprint methodology.
       • Systematization of experiences. The knowledge acquired will be collected in documents on the data collection and the methodology to measure the environmental footprint of coffee, which can be used by the producers themselves and by specialists in charge of technical assistance.

Among others, the proposals made for future work include: i) develop and present a regional standard to quantify the environmental impact of green coffee from the methodology of the European draft to the European Commission, ii) strengthen national capacities in data collection through a Guide proposed by ECLAC, and iii) diffuse information on these initiatives within the countries to a greater extent.

The work of the DCII on the environmental footprint of coffee is part of its line of work that promotes the incorporation of sustainability as an attribute and factor of competitiveness in the region's exports, facilitating collaboration so that sustainable practices are introduced into public and private strategies related to the region's main products.

See the attached agenda.