Promoting Sustainability, Equity and Transparency in Brazilian Coffee Value Chain

Germany is the second-largest importer of Brazilian coffee after the United States. While Brazilian coffee is well-known for its high quality and flavour, the industry continues to face significant challenges. Persistent social inequalities as well as the expansion of coffee monoculture and the resulting deforestation are hindering the development of resilient and sustainable coffee supply chain. With the introduction of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), more sustainability in the supply chains is needed in order to enhance and stabilise Brazilian exports in the European market.

Starting from January 2025, when the EUDR enters into force, all coffee marketed in the European Union has to be traced to the plot of land where it originates from to prove that its production is not linked to deforestation practices. This will be particularly challenging for smallholder farmers, who often lack the capacities and resources to provide this level of traceability and data.

Our ARABICA project, which launched in June 2024, aims to foster sustainable and deforestation-free coffee value chains in several coffee-producing regions in Brazil through strong stakeholder cooperation. This includes encouraging especially women-led smallholder farmers to adopt best practices in order to adhere to deforestation-free regulation. Additionally, rural youth employed in small coffee farms will be targeted to engage in digital solutions that make it easier for them to collect the complex data required by the EUDR .

In practice, the project will support coffee value chain stakeholders to effectively comply with the new regulation through a combination of activities. Knowledge sharing through workshops, webinars, and online forums will play a major role in promoting ideas on best practices and facilitating connections between farmers and potential buyers and retailers.

The CSCP is responsible for supporting rural youth on the proposed digital solutions for geolocation and traceability. These solutions aim to enhance transparency, traceability, and environmental practices within the coffee value chain. To ensure that they are user-friendly and meet the farmers’ specific needs, focus group discussions and surveys will take place. Following this, we will collaborate with digital solution providers to conduct tests and provide training and support for young farmers and entrepreneurs on how to use the selected digital solutions.

The CSCP also will co-develop and implement a Voluntary Code of Practice (VCC) for Deforestation Free Agriculture, incorporating the requirements of the EUDR. To achieve this, we combine comprehensive research on best practices for deforestation-free agriculture and draw on previous examples, such as our STeP EcoLab project in Mongolia. To validate the VCC, we will conduct a series of iterative workshops with stakeholders and aim to establish an action plan that supports a Collective Commitment among women-led smallholder farmers, rural youth, and SMEs in the Brazilian coffee value chain.

The project will run until November 2025 and it is funded under the European Union AL-INVEST Verde scheme. The project is implemented by the CSCP together with the Brazilian partners, Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), and International Women Coffee Alliance (IWCA).