Mercon Coffee Group Signed Joint Partnership with Conservation International

Mercon Coffee Group Signed Joint Partnership with Conservation International 

July 3 - 2021 Coffee Geography Magazine

In an effort to integrate natural climate solutions and reduce overall on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, Mercon Coffee Group, a global green coffee supplier committed to creating sustainable livelihoods in coffee-growing communities, announced that it has partnered with Conservation International, a nonprofit working to find nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. IDB Invest, theprivate sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, will be supporting this initiative.

The partnership will test ways to integrate natural climate solutions into coffee production. In addition, research will be conducted to understand how specific activities reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining optimal productivity levels.

Mercon Coffee

The project starts with an assessment of Mercon's in-house LIFT program, a sustainable production program that provides valuable tools, training, and services to coffee farmers and coffee communities. Through LIFT, Mercon works directly with thousands of small coffee producers to raise their quality of life by helping them improve productivity in a social and environmentally conscious manner. LIFT promotes good agricultural, environmental, and social practices among coffee farmers. The assessment will make recommendations for the improvement of the program's forest conservation and reforestation activities as well as efforts to optimize fertilizers use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on farms. Through this partnership, Mercon will be enabled to estimate the carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions on LIFT coffee farms in Mercon's origins operations in Central America. Recommendations will be provided regarding economic incentive mechanisms for coffee farmers, which would encourage additional on-farm carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reduction.

"At Mercon, we are committed to positively impacting coffee producing communities to create a circle of prosperity in the coffee industry," said Oscar Sevilla, CEO of Mercon.
Oscar Sevilla CEO Mercon Coffee
Oscar Sevilla, CEO for Mercon Coffee

"We are fully committed to engaging with the right partners to help find innovative solutions and invest in research and technology that will help us find ways to solve the sustainability challenges ahead."

Added Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International: "Investing in nature can help deliver a third of the emissions reductions we need to make by 2030. It's one of the most important things we can do after ending our use of fossil fuels. Agriculture has a key role to play in these efforts, especially when it comes to crops as vital to the global economy as coffee. By seizing on coffee's potential as a critical climate solution, we can help to slow the pace of global warming even as we create sustainable and resilient livelihoods around the world."

There are many other benefits to farmers who implement more sustainable practices, not the least of which is ensuring that these farms remain in operation for years to come. Coffee is a very vulnerable crop, and as climate change threatens its viability, coffee farmers are facing significant threats to their livelihoods. By working directly alongside farmers in a mutually beneficial effort to increase sustainability practices and production across all origins, Mercon also hopes to highlight that it is possible to make coffee part of the solution to the global climate crisis.

Conservation International

For the implementation of this project, Mercon is receiving the support from IDB Invest, the largest development financial institution in Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of a financing package that includes co-financing and advisory services to promote raising the living standards of coffee communities in the region and promoting a positive environmental and social impact.

IDB Invest

"At IDB Invest we are committed to supporting the adoption of impactful climate action through climate financing and advisory services, while promoting inclusive business models. Thus, we are excited to support Mercon to lead the adoption of climate solutions and pave the road for a sustainable and carbon neutral coffee sector, whilst improving the livelihoods smallholder coffee growers," said Gema Sacristán, Chief Investment Officer of IDB Invest.

To contribute transforming the coffee sector, Mercon will share approaches and lessons learned through this project through the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, as well as other industry networks. This highlights the importance of working together to achieve a common good and will ensure that will positively affect coffee communities and the industry at large.     

Mercon Coffee Group is a global, green coffee supplier that is vertically integrated and committed to consistently delivering the right quality of coffee to clients while creating sustainable livelihoods in coffee growing communities. Founded in 1952 as a coffee export company, Mercon is headquartered in the Netherlands and ranks among the top 10 leading coffee suppliers in the world, delivering tailored services to its clients in more than 60 countries from its offices located across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Mercon is a champion of sustainability and drives a number of initiatives, including its proprietary LIFT program that is focused on innovation and the prosperity of coffee communities around the world. Additionally, Mercon actively supports Seeds for Progress, the nonprofit organization that aims to improve education to help grow the coffee communities of tomorrow. Mercon has built an integrated coffee supply chain recognized for its excellence in commercial and specialty coffees as well as its operations across farming, production, export, logistics and risk management.

Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships, and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable planet.

IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $13.1 billion in asset management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.

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