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Issues of deforestation in coffee production in the Amazon


According to statistics, the growth of large-scale agricultural industries, especially coffee production, is seriously threatening environmental, economic, and social sustainability. In particular, a series of primeval forests were cut down to make way for crop plantations and cattle raising. Natural resources are nearly depleted, eroded, and polluted due to exploitation and waste during the production process. Join 43 Factory Coffee to learn about deforestation issues in coffee production in the Amazon and how to solve them!


Coffee production and deforestation in the Amazon


In studies of coffee history, coffee production began to form in the Amazon rainforest in the 1970s. The first growing areas were mainly in the forest area located in the state of Rondonia. They then spread around neighboring basins. Currently, up to 60% of coffee grown in the Amazon belongs to Brazil. Before large-scale production, many families living in the Amazon grew coffee on a small scale and applied methods that were in harmony with nature. However, when coffee production became popular, many forests were cut down to grow coffee as a monoculture. Plantations do not combine crops like before but only focus on coffee, leading to biodiversity being destroyed.

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Coffee production is the cause of the decline in the Amazon forest area


According to the World Wildlife Federation, the Amazon accounts for 10% of the total tropical rainforest area on the planet. This is the habitat of 10% of all wildlife species, and also stores about 76 billion tons of carbon dioxide, helping to minimize the impact of climate change. However, between 1985 and 2016, an estimated 421,774km of Amazon rainforest was destroyed. This reduces plant and animal diversity, disturbing the balance between predators and prey. Forest vegetation gradually disappears, causing evapotranspiration to decrease rapidly, affecting local rainfall and a series of problems such as degradation, soil erosion, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change.

Some surveys show that, since the 18th century, the development of Brazilian coffee production may be one of the causes of deforestation in the Amazon, Atlantic, and Cerrado. Natural primary and secondary forest systems, grasslands, and shrubs have also been lost during this development process. Initially, the vegetation in the Atlantic Forest covered about one million square kilometers (about four times the area of the Great Lakes). But currently, these areas only have 12.4% of natural vegetation remaining. Besides, increased coffee production in Brazil also promoted the development of urban infrastructure, roads, and railways, leading to changes in land cover.

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Land grabbing negatively impacts the sustainability of coffee production in the Amazon


Land grabbing is the large-scale acquisition of property and land, often by domestic or transnational companies, private investors, and governments. After that, these plots of land will be purchased or subleased for large-scale agricultural activities. Land grabbing in Brazil can be traced back to policies in the 1970s in which the government provided “free” land to mining and agricultural companies to stimulate economic growth. However, this can lead to negative problems such as land appropriation by farmers and forest destruction.

Specifically, there is some evidence that previous Brazilian governments facilitated land grabs by large-scale companies and investors. As per research from The Conversation, up to 94% of public land and rural settlements that were not designated in 2014 were reclassified as legal for appropriation in 2017. It is estimated that up to 32% “Of Brazil’s “undesignated public forests” have been reclaimed for private use such as agricultural and industrial production. As a result, many rural people and communities across Brazil have been deprived of access to land and other natural resources. This causes a series of forest areas to be occupied, destroying living environments and increasing population displacement.

However, the current Brazilian government has announced that it will work towards the goal of zero deforestation. The direction includes plans to develop conservation agreements with the governments of Indonesia and Congo.

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What is the way to solve the problem of sustainability in coffee production in the Amazon?


Deforestation has increased dramatically in parallel with the development of coffee plantations in the Amazon. Until the 2000s, the implementation of agroforestry systems helped reduce coffee-driven deforestation in Brazil. In 2012, small-scale agroforestry coffee-growing areas in Aquí and Rondonia contributed to restoring the soil and greenery of destroyed forests. This system has a diverse range of trees with high ecological and commercial value such as mahogany, acai-berry, Brazil nut, andiroba, and copaiba. Coffee plants are grown in the shade of these plants while following agroecological processes (no use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides). In addition, Brazil has the Brazilian National Climate Change Policy (2009), the National Plan to Reduce Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the Amazon (2004) and Cerrado (2010), and the Great Forest Law. Tay Duong (Law 11,428, 2006) also helps control deforestation.

However, coffee-induced deforestation continues in 2021. This may be due to difficulties in implementing monitoring of policies. Coffee farmers in the Amazon are mostly small-scale farmers, so they cannot ensure long-term maintenance of the “coffee forest” without financial support and ensuring stable supply and demand.

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It can be seen that agroforestry coffee systems have great potential in improving deforestation and maintaining environmental sustainability in the Amazon. To expand and attract the participation of farmers here, the participation of relevant parties and the support of consumers is needed. For example, creating policies that support agroforestry systems and ethical partnerships between agroforestry farmers and government and non-governmental organizations can help enhance their success. this system. As a consumer, you can use sustainable specialty coffee beans at XLIII Coffee – A brand developed from its predecessor 43 Factory Coffee Roaster to further motivate farmers who are developing on a sustainable path. ,

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Information sources are compiled from commodity trading. guru,, and perfect daily grind.

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