Cool Farm Tool Grows in Coffee

One of the Sustainable Food Lab’s flagship project, the Cool Farm Tool, is reaching new fields and farms.  Enabling millions of growers around the world to make more informed on-farm decisions that reduce their environmental impact, the Cool Farm Tool has been used by Food Lab and Cool Farm Alliance members with farmers in over 118 countries since its creation in 2008.  The Cool Farm Tool helps farmers quickly and easily track greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, biodiversity and in the near future food & loss waste.

Since its inception

One of the Sustainable Food Lab’s flagship project, the Cool Farm Tool, is reaching new fields and farms.  Enabling millions of growers around the world to make more informed on-farm decisions that reduce their environmental impact, the Cool Farm Tool has been used by Food Lab and Cool Farm Alliance members with farmers in over 118 countries since its creation in 2008.  The Cool Farm Tool helps farmers quickly and easily track greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, biodiversity and in the near future food & loss waste.

Since its inception the Cool Farm Tool has been used to track sustainability metrics in livestock and arable crop farming.  As climate change continues to threaten farmers worldwide, the Cool Farm Alliance introduced a new module for emissions from perennial crops in 2017.  The new module is being tested by companies and farmers in the stone fruit, coffee and cocoa industries.

Among the companies using the Cool Farm Tool for perennials, is Coop Coffees– a cooperative of 23 small and medium-scale roasters across Canada and the USA.  Sourcing fair trade and organic green coffee directly from small-scale farmer cooperatives in 13 coffee-producing countries in Latin America, Africa and Indonesia, Coop Coffees prides itself on long term relationships focused around sustainability, fairness, and transparency.

In February, Daniella Malin, Senior Program Director of Agriculture & Climate and Deputy General Manager of the Cool Farm Alliance, visited Guatemala for a learning workshop with Coop Coffees and a number of its suppliers.  Looking to further its Carbon, Climate and Coffee initiative, Coop Coffees will be piloting the Cool Farm Tool with smallholder coffee farmers in Peru, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.  Using the Cool Farm Tool will allow Coop Coffees to track total carbon draw-down in organic coffee farms, an important part of their “carbon premium”, a “Carbon Tax” of .03/lb on green coffee added to all coffees sold to roasters. This “carbon tax” is paid directly to exemplary suppliers to compensate for the environmental services they provide. The model created by Coop Coffees creates a simple, financing mechanism to help offset the collective carbon footprint of Coop Coffees and provide the financial support for climate adaptation. Funds are invested within the supply chain to support “carbon farming” and best organic agricultural practices (enhanced composting, pruning and other soil building practices, reforestation, etc.) and farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities.

To learn more about Coop Coffees and their project with the Cool Farm Tool visit their website.

Photo Credit: Nick Beadleston