We sat down with the Rainforest Alliance Team in Honduras, a PRF 2021 Silver Sponsor.
The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-governmental organization that operates in more than 70 countries. They work in the space where business, agriculture, and forestry intersect to create more responsible and sustainable businesses.
WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S ROLE IN THE COFFEE INDUSTRY?
We want to make responsible business the ‘new normal’ via our certification program and other initiatives that support communities and biodiversity. We also provide customized supply chain services and advise on the creation of policies that encourage production, usage of natural resources, and sustainable consumption.
We work with producers, forest communities, companies, and consumers to change the way coffee and other crops are produced and consumed in Honduras. The areas we focus on include coffee, cacao forestry, and palm oil. Together with many local actors, such as governments, donors and companies, we protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers, workers, and forest communities, encourage respect in human rights, and help stakeholders to mitigate and adapt to climate change effectively.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN OBJECTIVES FOR PRF 2021?
We want to develop a closer relationship between market and origin and identify areas of mutual interest, with the objective of developing initiatives aimed at improving coffee supply chain sustainability in Honduras.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HONDURAN COFFEES? WHAT MAKES COFFEE STAND OUT FROM OTHER ORIGINS?
Along with a focus on sustainability, Honduran coffees have become increasingly renowned for both quality and volume. Almost 30% of coffee exported from Honduras has some kind of sustainability certification. This distinguishes the origin by uniting quality, volume, and sustainability in a single product.
Today, Honduras is the fifth coffee-producing country in the world. This has only been made possible by the efforts of every supply chain actor in the country’s coffee industry.
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A HONDURAN COFFEE PRODUCER BASED ON THE KNOWLEDGE YOU HAVE ABOUT THE HONDURAN COFFEE INDUSTRY TODAY?
Honduras has become an internationally recognized actor in the supply chain. The influence that Honduran coffee producers have makes them an exemplar in several different areas, including quality, innovation, production, and sustainability.
These open doors for producers to leverage new business opportunities, sustainability initiatives, and production methods. It’s the right time for Honduran coffee farmers to maximize their sustainable development.
I recommend that coffee producers should start producing differentiated coffees. [I encourage them] to look for marketing mechanisms aimed at niche markets, where there are always buyers willing to pay a different price for coffees with different levels of quality.
Photo credits: Rainforest Alliance