Peru: Sustainable Coffee
Global leader in specialty coffee production, Peru has long been a major coffee exporter for more than 50 countries in the world’s market. With most of the cultivation taking place within the 7 distinct coffee growing regions, coffee plantations occupy as much as 40% of farmland nationally, and up to 70% of farms situated in the Peruvian highlands. Being Peru’s main agricultural export commodity, coffee makes up 25% of national agricultural income and supports the livelihood of 223,000 producer families. It is estimated that the coffee industry involves more than 2 million Peruvians in its production chain.
Beneath the veneer of global success of this agricultural sector, however, poverty remains rampant among the smallholder farmers whose lives are dependent on the delicate sustainability of this crop. Being vulnerable to issues such as market fluctuations, natural risks and climate change, the producers are unable to take matters in their own hands. Even worse, the combination of these issues overall results in low productivity of coffee plantations, which, in turn, becomes the main driver of deforestation and ecosystem degradation.
Considering that nearly 60% of Peru’s national territory is considered part of the Amazon basin, one of the most important and vulnerable ecosystems in the world, the issue with deforestation has urged the Peruvian government to take action.
In June 2017, multi-stakeholder dialogue was officially launched in the form of a Peruvian National Coffee Platform. Since then, UNDP Green Commodities Programme has been supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI) and the National Coffee Council to lead the multi-stakeholder dialogue to devise a National Action Plan to address the structural barriers to sustainable coffee production. In a very complex sector, this process has enabled detailed analysis and widespread discussion on the key issues facing the sector, such as: production and sustainable quality, control of plant diseases and pests, as well as financial services. The Peruvian National Coffee Platform convenes not just the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, the National Coffee Board, the Peruvian Chamber of Coffee and Cocoa, but also regional governments, producer associations, civil society, international cooperation agencies and the private sector.
With the financial support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), UNDP's Green Commodities Programme has since collaborated with the abovementioned changemakers to devise and launch the Coffee National Action Plan in 2018, working to address matters such as coffee productivity and quality improvement, facilitated access to financial services, reinforced sector governance, and enhanced commercial positioning amidst the global marketplace.
Through the implementation of the National Action Plan, the Peruvian sector and the various parties involved are committed to deliver lasting results on the following main agenda items: increase coffee exports by 120%; increase export volumes by more than 13 million quintals; increase parchment coffee production by 15.9 million quintals; reduction of GEI by 1.73 million CO₂ eq.; and enhance the livelihoods of coffee producers through regional technical assistance.
Learn more about the work of the Green Commodities Programme in Peru in the At-A-Glance Country Guide.