Impact Assessment

Sustainability and Financial Independence Analysis of the Conservation Coffee Project in Chiapas, Mexico, 2003, H. Haase

    The goal of the Conservation Coffee project is to contribute to the conservation of the buffer zone of the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve by creating a sustainable model that has added value and incentives for coffee farmers. The project works with six cooperatives representing more than 1,100 small-scale farmers in 33 communities in the buffer zone. It aims to establish biological connectivity in the coffee-producing zones and maintain the ecological processes necessary to conserve the biodiversity of the Reserve. The purpose of the project is for coffee producers within the buffer zone to adopt Conservation Coffee Best Practices (CCBP).

    This is a summary of the final report of a study sponsored by USAID and the Institute of International Education, Emerging Markets Development Advisors Program. The study analyzed the strategy to develop a financially independent Conservation Coffee project in Chiapas by:
    - Analyzing the quality and capacity of local business service providers;
    - Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of services;
    - Analyzing planned service provision by CI;
    - Assessing willingness and ability of cooperatives and producers to pay for services; and
    - Proposing a sustainable business service delivery model and interventions needed to achieve it.

    The study contains a detailed analysis, according to different growth scenarios, of services required by farmers to achieve the project's conservation goal, their cost, and the extent to which farmers are able and willing to pay for them. The report makes clear that the project cannot recover its costs at the present level of operation, stating that it needs to grow substantially. It also charts a recommended path for achieving financial sustainability, increased farmer incomes, and full adoption of CCBP.

    The report concludes that the transfer and development of services should take place over a five-year period to ensure long-term access to a market that pays premium prices for coffee produced according to the CCBP.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    »Conservation Coffee in Chiapas, Mexico, Conservation International, 2006