Ethiopia partners with JDE Peet’s and Enveritas to preserve access to EU coffee markets.

The Director General of the Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Authority (ECTA), Dr. Adugna, Ms. Nadia Hoarau-Mwaura, Sustainability Director at JDE Peet’s and Mr. David Browning, Chief Executive Officer of Enveritas announced today that the ECTA, JDE Peet’s, and Enveritas have entered into an Agreement to implement a scheme that will enable Enveritas to verify that the coffee industry in Ethiopia does not export coffee grown on land deforested after 2020, as required by the new European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR).

This regulation, which impacts this year’s coffee harvests, is designed to ensure that European citizens are not contributing to deforestation and biodiversity loss through the products that they buy and consume. As a result of signing this Agreement and taking action to remove the coffee which infringes the regulation, Ethiopia is able to have its entire coffee production area, grown by over two million producers, assessed as being deforestation-free per the regulation’s definitions using Enveritas’ territorial approach.

In addition, through this landmark agreement, JDE Peet’s will support the rehabilitation of land deforested and converted to coffee after 2020. Ms. Hoarau-Mwaura said, “ Ethiopia is a vast country, the size of France, Germany and the United Kingdom combined. It would have been extremely challenging to build and implement a nation-wide traceability system in a traditional manner. We are honored to work closely with Ethiopia and Enveritas on this remarkable initiative which shows how technology can be employed in thoughtful and ethical ways to stop coffee related deforestation, mitigate climate change risks but also protect millions of smallholder farmers”.

Enveritas’ territorial approach involves a technologically sophisticated process to monitor all of Ethiopia’s coffee growing region through a combination of high resolution satellite imagery, machine learning, and teams on the ground. A protocol developed by ECTA will ensure that any coffee which has been planted on deforested land as defined by the EUDR will be removed from the supply chain.

Once removed, JDE Peet’s will work with the farmers to reforest the land. This innovative and inclusive JDE Peet ‘s Enveritas country wide solution, supported by the EU’s concept of declaration in excess, allows coffee producing land, at a vast scale, to be assessed as deforestation free, delivering on the climate journey while protecting smallholder farmers.

Dr. Adugna said, “Our farmers work hard to produce some of the finest coffees in the world and being able to sell to high value markets such as the EU is crucial to their livelihoods. With over 2 million Ethiopian smallholder growers, the regulation presented daunting traceability challenges. JDE Peet’s Enveritas country wide solution offered a remarkable innovative approach to maintaining EU market access while addressing the EU’s desire to protect the world’s remaining forests”.

Mr. Browning said, “It’s appropriate that Ethiopia, as the birthplace of coffee, should be at the forefront of protecting both its unique environmental heritage and coffee communities. Ethiopia posed specific challenges that had to be overcome for our forest and crop detection technology. The country’s diverse growing conditions, such as the coffee grown under forest canopy, is rarely found in other producing origins, and required sophisticated machine learning approaches. We are honored to work with ECTA and JDE Peet’ to ensure smallholder coffee farmers’ livelihoods are protected while also supporting the EU’s aspirations to address climate change and forest loss”.

Enveritas is a non-profit organization that works worldwide to support the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers through encouraging the responsible sourcing of coffee.

JDE Peet’s is the largest roaster of coffee in the European Union, serving millions of consumers annually.

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