In observance of President's Day, we are closed on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Peru’s Amazonas region emerges as a leader in sustainable coffee production, combating climate change while addressing industry inequalities.

Peru's Amazonas region, known for its cloud forests and biodiversity, is also a leader in sustainable coffee production. The country is a global leader in Fair Trade and organic arabica coffee, with more than 90,000 hectares of land certified as organic. Three-quarters of its coffee beans are produced by smallholders, making coffee a significant contributor to agricultural employment in Peru.

However, coffee farmers in the Amazonas region face challenges such as deforestation, road construction, mining, and illegal logging. These activities not only threaten the habitats of unique species but also impact the financial stability of local communities. To address these issues, sustainable and organic practices have become crucial.

Mayorga Coffee, a US-based business founded by Martin Mayorga, works exclusively with organic farms and aims to eliminate systemic poverty in the coffee sector. Mayorga emphasizes the importance of supporting organic practices, not only for the sake of the farmers but also for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities.

On COOPARM (a coffee cooperative in the Amazonas region) farms, they now plant trees alongside coffee fields. “They improve the area where the crop is,” explains Elizabeth Arista Salazar, the president of a female-only committee at the co-op. “And also it is very important for us as farmers to work with nature and the environment, to breathe clean air.”

According to Positive News, climate change is another concern for coffee farmers, as shifting weather patterns and rising temperatures affect crop production. Jairo Rodriguez Vargas, a farmer with COOPARM, a coffee cooperative in the Amazonas region, explains that longer rainy periods and the spread of diseases are impacting coffee cultivation. To combat these challenges, COOPARM and similar co-ops are adopting sustainable practices and planting trees alongside coffee fields, providing shade, sequestering carbon, and creating habitats for wildlife.

Cooperative organizational structures, like COOPARM, also play a vital role in the economic success of smallholder farmers. Poverty remains a significant issue in Peru, especially for coffee growers, and co-ops enable farmers to negotiate better prices for their coffee and invest in community development projects.

However, despite the strides made in sustainable coffee production, there are still power imbalances in the global coffee industry. Mayorga points out that consumers should look beyond marketing and demand accountability from the industry itself. Achieving true equity in the coffee industry requires a collective effort to support the livelihoods of those who work in it.

As Peru's coffee industry continues to grow, it faces both opportunities and challenges. With a focus on sustainable practices, cooperative structures, and social responsibility, Peru's Amazonas region is paving the way for a more resilient and equitable coffee future.

Eunice is a sustainability writer whose passion is sharing accessible eco-friendly practices with GreenCitizen's global readership. She enjoys birdwatching during her downtime, often deriving inspiration from nature's resilience. An enthusiastic cyclist, she is also an ardent advocate of eco-friendly transport.

Subscribe to
our newsletter