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Promoting Indian Coffee in Switzerland by improved quality, labeling and positioning for the socio economic betterment of coffee farmers in Karnataka

Harvested Coffee Cherries in India (photo credits: Sabine Stauffacher)

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Coorg district in Southern India in the Western Ghats is known for its exceptional biodiversity and unique agroforestry farming systems maintained by smallholder coffee farmers. Due to the rapid transformation of the market and the increase in production costs, the environmental friendly farming practices are at stake: Farmers thrive to intensify farming with opening up canopy of shade trees, replacing high valuable native shade trees with exotic varieties or increasing input fertilizer. Consequently, it is manifesting in negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable certification schemes aim to overcome these challenges. Thus, positive effects are rather limited and more powerful solutions are necessary.
This Indo-Swiss faculty exchange program, aimed at better understanding unique attributes and quality of Indian coffee and the Indian coffee value chain. The research was an applied approach with investigating opportunities for linking Indian smallholder Robusta farmers to Swiss small-roasters in a direct trade relationship with the aim of achieving enhanced sustainability in the coffee value chain.

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