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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Globally, around one in three people are coffee drinkers. Demand is growing, particularly in emerging markets and coffee-producing countries. In mature markets interest in ‘sustainability’ as part of the coffee experience is high and profitable to the trade. There is some divergence, however, between perceptions of sustainability as marketed to consumers and the complex, context-specific challenges of sustainable production. Most coffee is rainfed and draws similar volumes of (green) water to the surrounding mountain forests, meaning that coffee production has little net impact on the catchment hydrology. However, if irrigation is used then water is lost from the catchment. If the crop is wet-processed, then water is used and usually returned to the catchment in polluted form. This chapter reviews coffee production in Brazil, Vietnam, and Columbia. Speculation on coffee in global markets can be levied to fund sustainability initiatives, thus internalizing the diverse environmental costs associated with coffee production.

Keywords: Coffee, value chains, sustainability, water footprint, environmental externalities, Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia

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