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Project 2050: Promoting Coffee Agroforestry and Sustainable Processing Practices

Recent research shows that by 2050, changes in the global climate will cut the amount of land currently suitable for growing coffee in half, increasing the risk of deforestation by forcing coffee production to higher elevated forested ecosystems.1 The Arbor Day Foundation has developed Project 2050 as a means of moving the coffee industry in a direction for change. We’re focused on helping every player in the coffee supply chain support better practices and easing the impact of coffee production on the environment.

Working With Producers

We promote sustainable agroforestry management practices, asking the producers to uphold the Arbor Day Foundation’s Coffee Purchasing Standards. These four standards are designed to facilitate sustainable farming and coffee processing practices. As strides in each of the standards are made, the producers receive Project 2050 recognition and gain market access to the Arbor Day Foundation network of participating roasters.

Standard 1:

Tree Management Plan


Having a tree management plan helps provide sustainable land-use goals, enabling producers to plant and maintain trees on their land in a meaningful manner.

Standard 2:

Water Management Plan


By managing wastewater, we can help lower carbon emissions and improve water quality for those who also depend on these resources for household use and drinking water.

Standard 3:

Coffee Quality Improvement


Improving coffee quality systems and post-harvest production practices helps to achieve higher yield and prices upon delivery, reduce product loss, lower defects, and increase coffee flavor qualities.

Standard 4:

Environmental Education


Actively participating in the promotion of educational opportunities addressing agroforestry principles and improved post-harvest processing practices are critical in building healthier environments within coffee-producing communities.

Working With Every Part of the Supply Chain

We also provide roasters, importers, cafés, and other coffee buyers a way to contribute to the solution. There are two different ways to get involved:

Purchase green coffee

from producers recognized through the Project 2050 coffee program.

Go carbon-positive

by offsetting coffee inventories.


1Bunn, C., Läderach, P., Jimenez, J. G., Montagnon, C., & Schilling, T. (2015). Multiclass classification of agro-ecological zones for Arabica coffee: an improved understanding of the impacts of climate change. PloS one, 10, e0140490.


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