UTZ Certified, a non-profit organisation that deals with sustainable farming of coffee, tea and cocoa, has partnered with Douwe Egberts (DE) Foundation of Netherlands to launch the Coffee Climate Care (C3) project that is aimed at making coffee producers aware of the impacts of climate change on coffee in Vietnam.

The C3 project will be supported by several institutions such as the Vietnamese Coffee Research Institute and the Initiative for coffee and climate, amongst others.

Divided into three stages, the three-year C3 project will first assess the climate vulnerability and collect relevant data on farms’ greenhouse gas emissions and carbon stocks, then train farmers on adaptation measures, and finally consolidate the results into a refined version of the UTZ Certified code of conduct.

Upon completion of the project, which is expected by end of 2016, both the firms will present the results, which will be used for future development of adaptation techniques in coffee’s supply chains.

UTZ Certified standards director Britta Wyss Bisang said climate change is a global challenge.

"Therefore, eventually we want to apply the lessons learnt from the C3 project in Vietnam across our worldwide network of coffee producers," Bisang added.

"By strengthening our certification program in adaptation measures related to climate variability, we can build new capacities at the farmer level that will benefit all actors along the supply chain."

DE Foundation program manager Don Jansen said during their presence in Vietnam, since 2001, they have seen rainfall patterns become more erratic, with longer and more pronounced drought periods and heavier rainfall in the wet season.

"In the Central Highlands, this is creating problems for farmers in drying their coffee. In combination with the expected temperature increase, we may also see drastic effects on coffee production," Jansen added.

UTZ Certified entered Vietnam in 2002, and since then over 27,000 farmers and 44,000ha of coffee-producing land in the country have been UTZ certified.

The C3 project is financed by UTZ and DE, sponsored by the Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), with public funds of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).