Commodity crops like cocoa and coffee are driving tropical deforestation on a devastating scale—rainforest cover in Côte d’Ivoire has been reduced by more than 80% since 1960 due to the cocoa industry. According to a report by Conservation International, coffee is expected to become a major driver of deforestation due to the change in suitable coffee growing lands. A Tulane University study found that 2.12 million child laborers worked in cocoa production in the 2013/2014 cocoa harvest season in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The same economic pressures drive deforestation and dependence on child labor for farmers in less developed countries.
There is an urgent need to develop resilient systems for crops like cacao and coffee that maintain tropical forests and biodiversity, boost local food security, revitalize livelihoods, and drawdown greenhouse gas emissions. We can reverse the damage we’ve done—and we can do it while we grow crops like coffee and cocoa. Fairtrade and agroforestry-based systems are two complementary pathways forward.
Join Grow Ahead, Fairtrade America and Divine Chocolate to learn about how climate change is impacting small-scale producers, how fairtrade offers a solution to social and environmental issues in the cocoa and coffee industries, and how businesses and individuals can take action.
1-2pm EST October 31, 2017
- Introductions (5 minutes)
- Margot Conover, Fairtrade America: Challenges faced by small-holder farmers, Fairtrade’s environmental standards, and how Fairtrade farmers work for climate change adaptation and resilience (15 minutes)
- Ryan Zinn, Grow Ahead: Small-scale farmers cool the planet and feed the world: Crowdfunding for climate resilience in farming communities (15 minutes)
- Liz Miller, Divine Chocolate USA: Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment for cocoa farmers in the face of climate change (15 minutes)
- Questions (10 minutes)