Promoting climate change resilience is a fundamental part of long-term sustainability for smallholder farmers. Food and beverage companies often grapple with how to understand the risk climate change presents to their farmer partners, suppliers, and raw material supply security and where to access reliable and tailored information. The Food Lab has gathered leading solutions and resources on smallholder climate resilience and climate smart agriculture developed by our members and partners as a starting point.
About Climate Smart Agriculture
What is Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)?
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for adapting agriculture under the new realities of climate change. The most commonly used definition is “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation) where possible, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals” (FAO 2013).
You can learn more about climate-smart agriculture from the CSA 101 website, developed by global Climate Change, Agricultural and Food Security consortium of the CGIAR. The CSA 101 website acts a step-by-step guide to implementing climate-smart agriculture, complete with a compilation of partner tools and resources. See also specific Coffee and Cocoa climate-smart agriculture guides that are tailored to companies in those sectors
Our Engagement in Climate Smart Agriculture
The Sustainable Food Lab is working with a number of research partners on decision support tools to answer the questions we hear companies asking about climate adaptation in smallholder supply chains. In addition, with partners, we’ve been piloting on the ground programs that support farmers to strengthen climate resilience and improve livelihoods.
Feed the Future Supply Chain Resilience
Building on the momentum of the Paris COP 21, USAID teamed up with the climate scientists at CCAFS (CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security), the Sustainable Food Lab, and the innovative agricultural lender Root Capital to launch a learning community on private sector engagement in climate smart agriculture (CSA). This activity had two overarching goals:
- Support private sector – global and local agribusiness – engagement in CSA; and
- Strengthen USAID and others’ capacity to stimulate investment and partner effectively with the private sector in the CSA arena.
Early mover companies were interviewed at the onset of the program to gain insight into how to best develop and implement tailored climate smart strategies. These initial discussions resulted in a diagnostics toolkit for understanding climate exposure risk, evaluating costs and benefits of climate smart practices, and assessing the capacity of small and medium scale enterprises to deliver extension that facilitates farmer adoption of climate smart strategies. A learning community facilitated collaboration between private and public sector actors on key questions on CSA engagement and results-sharing on how best to scale climate smart value chains worldwide.
The more information about the linked initiatives can also be found on the Feed the Future Private Sector Engagement in CSA agrilinks webpage.
Organizations shown above are partners in the Feed the Future Supply Chain Resilience program
The below resources were created as part of the Supply Chain Resilience initiative, a collaboration between CCAFS (CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security), Root Capital, the Sustainable Food Lab and our many NGO and private sector partners.
Alliance for Resilient Coffee
The Alliance for Resilient Coffee is a collaboration between 7 NGO’s and research institutions. ARC members, including the Food Lab, are aligning the latest climate research and practical tools to unlock investments from the coffee sector in climate-smart agriculture. You can learn more about the Alliance for Resilient Coffee here.
The Climate Smart Coffee website was created with the Alliance for Resilient Coffee by CIAT and the Food Lab to increase private sector engagement and funding in smallholder farmer resilience against climate change. Designed to guide medium and large companies, who buy from and support smallholder coffee value chains, the website identifies relevant areas of engagement and investment in adaptation to climate change. Highlighting information from leading knowledge platforms like coffee&climate, Global Coffee Platform, Specialty Coffee Association, and Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge, the Climate Smart Coffee website includes research work completed by the USAID Feed the Future Alliance for Resilient Coffee, CCAFS Mainstreaming Climate Smart Value Chains initiative and other key partners.
Climate Smart Cocoa Website
The Climate Smart Cocoa website is designed to guide anyone working with smallholder cocoa production to identify relevant areas of engagement and investment in smallholder adaptation to climate change. You will find all the resources you need to understand climate-related risks of cocoa production and to guide you to action on the ground in one place. Created by CIAT and Rainforest Alliance/Utz, the website includes a risk assessment tool that gives specific guidance on climate change in cocoa areas.