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Climate change adaptation takes root in Peru

(by Giannina Cadena, Fairtrade International)

Climate change has a big impact on the small producers in the Global South. They are increasingly facing the burden of higher temperatures, increased rain, floods, droughts, and rampant spread of diseases. Farmers are looking for technical and financial support to be better prepared to tackle climate change along with all the new challenges it presents.

Fairtrade International can strengthen the positions of small farmers not only by benefits such as the Fairtrade Minimum Price or Premium, but also by climate change adaptation measures that include organizational development, environmental sustainability, financial stability, investment possibilities, or greater autonomy.

9. lidlThe best practice of this can be seen in the Sonomoro Cooperative in Pangoa, Peru. This year in particular, has proved challenging as coffee farms throughout Latin America have been devastated by the spread of coffee leaf rust known as “La Roya”. However, thanks to the support of Lidl, a German-based chain of grocery stores, the farmers form Sonomoro Cooperative are receiving training to cope with the effects of climate change. In the first phase of this program, 10 lead farmers – or promoters – were trained by the organization Twin Trading to conduct risk and opportunity assessments in their communities. A demonstration farm was established where farmers can learn about best practices, including shade and weed management, composting, treatment of waste water and more.  

“For me, it’s been very important this work with Fairtrade on climate change and environment because we learn to take care of our environment and improve our farming techniques,” said Magda, cooperative member and one of the promoters to go through the program.

9 magda

These promoters are now training farmers in the region in best practices to create more resilient and sustainable farms. Along with the need for improved farm management, the promoters identified reforestation as one of the priorities for the region. The search for farm land and timber has left many of the hills in the region barren, exposed to severe erosion, heightening the impacts of unpredictable storms. Lidl is now supporting a second phase of the project to provide additional training on climate change adaptation and support for reforestation efforts.

9group 9. Santiago Engelhardt

The new phase of training and reforestation will benefit Sonomoro and another nearby Fairtrade cooperative, CA Sangareni. The promoters at Sonomoro will help train new promoters from both cooperatives who will then train an additional 100 farmers. Members from the Youth Committees at both cooperatives will work with local foresters and another technician to provide and plant trees. Many of the youth are concerned about what is happening to their family farms and are dedicated to push for more sustainable production practices.

Click here to watch a short film about the Sonomoro Cooperative.

To learn more about this project, contact Giannina Cadena at: g.cadena@fairtrade.net 

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