Regenerative agriculture for low-carbon and resilient coffee farms: A practical guidebook. Version 1.0

For decades, global coffee consumption has grown, as tastes and offerings for consumers have increased around the world, and global demand for coffee will continue to grow in the years to come. At the same time, climate change presents coffee producers and other supply chain actors with major challenges. Its impacts are already reducing the area that is well suited for growing coffee, and this lends urgency to the adoption of farming strategies than can secure future coffee supplies and the livelihoods of coffee-producing families. Major efforts are also needed to lower the contribution of agri-food systems, including coffee, to climate change and other negative environmental impacts, such as land degradation and biodiversity loss. Regenerative agriculture provides coffee producers with a means to transform their farms by restoring and conserving soil, water and biodiversity, thus building resilience in the face of climate change. This approach also creates opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon storage on farms, while increasing farm income through diversification. Regenerative agriculture offers the
further advantage of flexibility, based on principles that apply to both small- and large-scale production across many diverse conditions. As a result, this approach can address multiple environmental and production challenges in ways that are socially and economically viable. Designed for field agronomists and technicians in the global coffee sector, this guidebook aims to
help identify the best regenerative practices and adapt them to different origins, farm types and agroecological conditions. Each region and farm type has its own requirements. For this reason, we highlight key principles and a wide array of practices that can be applied flexibly and combined to enhance the sustainability and resilience of coffee farms. In other words, this guidebook describes the “what” and “why” of regenerative agriculture but does not prescribe “how” it should be implemented.
Instead, we offer tools that enable agricultural extensionists to support farmers in the transition to regenerative agriculture by selecting the practices that best match specific needs, objectives and available resources, and by adapting them to the local context.