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How a 20-year partnership is addressing coffee’s climate woes

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For two decades, Conservation International has worked with Starbucks to support responsible coffee farming, protect biodiversity and reduce the coffee industry’s impacts on climate through ethical sourcing standards known as the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E) Practices

Conservation News sat down with Raina Lang, who leads Conservation International’s sustainable coffee program, to discuss a new report that highlights the progress and opportunities ahead. 

Conservation News: Set the scene for us, where do these ethical sourcing standards come from?

Raina Lang: Roughly 125 million people — from farmers to roasters to baristas — rely on the coffee economy for their livelihoods. It’s an important and complex global market that stretches across the tropics — and at times has unfortunately grappled with concerning practices like deforestation and the exploitation of workers. 

To help improve the supply chain, Conservation International teamed up with Starbucks in 2004 to create a verification program that holds coffee farmers to economic, social and environmental…

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