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New partnership to help Brazil's small growers.

SAO PAULO -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Green Mountain Coffee and Fair Trade USA (also known as TransFair USA) have announced a two-year partnership to promote Fair Trade environmental standards, biodiversity and sustainable agronomy and increase organic production.

The Sustainable Sourcing Partnership Project was developed to maximize the sustainability of Brazilian small-holder coffee cooperatives by:

1) ensuring that Brazilian land is cultivated according to Fair Trade's environmental standards through outreach, training, and certification;

2) strengthening the ability of Brazilian small-holder farmers to produce organic-certified coffees for export to the U.S. for sale; and

3) building local capacity for more sustainable agronomy.

"USAID believes that this partnership will make an important contribution towards environmental conservation and effective natural resources management by working closely with small coffee producers so that they may benefit from economic opportunities made available by utilizing sound environmental practices," said Denny Robertson, USAID mission director to Brazil.

Intense price volatility, imbalances of power, acute dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides are just some of the challenges that small-holder coffee farmers face as they compete in the global coffee economy.

As the world's single most important coffee producer by volume, Brazil has become largely synonymous with this industrial-scale approach to coffee production.
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Title Annotation:World News
Comment:New partnership to help Brazil's small growers.(World News)
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Mar 1, 2011
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