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Coffee farmer surrounded by coffee plants in Nicaragua
Image: O. Ristau

Fairer coffee, greater income

Oliver Ristau
April 24, 2018

Certified coffee could help Nicaraguan farmers compensate for low global prices. But retraining them and implementing the program is a lengthy and costly process.


Nicaraguans opt for sustainability

Project aim: Secure an income for coffee farmers in Nicaragua despite low global prices
Project implementation: Promote coffee certification and train farmers in sustainable agriculture
Project size: Nicaragua has some 44,000 coffee farmers, just 2,100 of which have a UTZ certification. Of the 225,000 tons of coffee produced in 2016, some 36,046 tons were UTZ certified. 350,000 people are employed during the coffee harvest
Higher income through UTZ certification: From 5 to 10 percent of the global price

Coffee is one of Nicaragua's most important export goods, and the sector employs more people than any other area of agriculture. In the face of low global prices, a sustainability label, such as those issued by UTZ in the Netherlands, offers the farmers a chance to increase their earnings. That's also good for preserving natural resources and protecting the climate; but because shifting to sustainable practices is costly and exclusive, independent training is important.

A film by Oliver Ristau

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