It's Bean Too Hot!

The Reality of Coffee Farming in the Era of Climate Change


Online Symposium via Zoom

Watch the recording here!

February 21st, 2024

February 22nd, 2024








Welcome to the Online Symposium “It’s Bean Too Hot: The Reality of Coffee Farming in the Era of Climate Change” of the initiative for coffee&climate (c&c).  

Sector discussions often focus on the needs of the coffee industry – such as securing the supply chains, making coffee production more sustainable, and complying with regulations. But what are the true needs of smallholder coffee farming families? Of those who produce up to 80 % of the global coffee? To what extent do the industry’s efforts actually serve to improve climate resilience and the livelihoods of farming communities? 

This event brings together coffee farming communities, farmer organizations, local experts, scientists, and coffee companies, exploring the reality of coffee farming in the face of climate change.  

Over the course of two days, we will discuss the impacts of climate change on coffee production, landscapes, and livelihoods. Through engaging talks, we will unveil pragmatic solutions for better climate change resilience, adaptation, and mitigation. We will share best practices and possible solutions, and highlight potential pitfalls.

The symposium includes sessions on access to finance for smallholder farmers and the role of gender inclusivity in climate action. It sheds light on motivations and hurdles to the adoption of climate-smart practices and it will illustrate how coffee landscapes can be reimagined for a sustainable future. 

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn, exchange, and immerse yourself in the expertise and experiences of fellow professionals and practitioners from coffee-growing regions across the globe. Join us at the Online Symposium “It’s Bean Too Hot: The Reality of Coffee Farming in the Era of Climate Change” and help shape a sustainable future for coffee farming. 


Meet Our Speakers

Christian Bunn
Christian Bunn

Scientist, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Colombia

Christian Bunn is an Agricultural Economist. In his position as Scientist for Climate Action in Coffee and Cocoa, he has over 10 years of experience working with climate impacts on coffee. His work combines data insights with participatory research to prioritize solutions for farmers. 

Leônidas Melo
Leônidas Melo

Professor for Soil Fertility, Universidade Federal de Lavras UFLA, Brazil

Leônidas Melo is an Agronomist and has a Master and PhD in Soils and Plant Nutrition. He currently holds the position as Professor of Soil Fertility in the Department of Soil Science at the Federal University of Lavras, Brazil. His research focuses on the use of biochar in agriculture and improving soil quality.

Dr. Tina Beuchelt
Dr. Tina Beuchelt

Senior Scientist, Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Dr. Beuchelt is a scientist (Dr. sc. agr.) and project manager at the Center for Development Research ZEF and conducts research on food security, adaptation of agriculture to climate change, sustainability standards, global supply chains, human rights and social justice. Prior to ZEF, she worked at international agricultural research centers (CIMMYT, CIAT), the University of Hohenheim, and the German Evaluation Institute. Together with the private sector and civil society, she developed the “Food Security Standard”, which integrates the human right to food into global agricultural supply chains.

Claire Rhodes
Claire Rhodes

Claire Rhodes, Producers Direct

Claire Rhodes is CEO and Founder of Producers Direct, and an 2023 Acumen Food Systems Fellow.  Producers Direct is a farmer-facing organisation focused on increasing smallholders’ resilience and power in food systems. Founded in 2009, Producers Direct works directly with smallholder communities and farmer organisations to strengthen resilience, increase incomes and build farmers’ leadership.

Silvia Torres
Silvia Torres

Project Coordinator, HRNS Brazil

Silvia Helena Soares Torres holds degrees in Biological Sciences and Applied Ecology. She has worked in environmental consultancy and since 2020, she has been developing a circular economy and waste utilization project in the coffee chain with Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS). Her work focuses on the production of fertilizers and organic products for use in the field.

Janina Grabs
Janina Grabs

Assistant Professor, ESADE Business School

Janina Grabs is an Assistant Professor at ESADE Business School, Barcelona. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Münster, Germany. Her work focuses on the governance of sustainability in global value chains, with a special focus on tropical agricultural commodities such as coffee and palm oil.

Stefan Ruge
Stefan Ruge

Program Manager Climate, HRNS Germany

Stefan Ruge is Program Manager at Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) since 2018. After his Studies of Latin American Studies, he graduated as regional scientist for Latin America and worked for 5 years in Peru and Colombia, in the field of coffee and cocoa sustainability. After that, he worked as a freelancer on sustainability in the coffee and cocoa sector before joining HRNS.

Dr. Joachim Milz
Dr. Joachim Milz

Pioneer in Global Dissemination of Sustainable Agricultural Practices, ECOTOP Fundación

Inspired by Ernst Götsch and his principles of successional ecosystems in forests, Dr. Joachim Milz initiated an experimental journey by implementing these concepts on his farm in Bolivia. Through close collaboration with Bolivian partners, he meticulously and systematically disseminated these learnings on a global scale.

Eutropia Ngido
Eutropia Ngido

Rural Economist, Tanzania

Eutropia Ngido is a Rural Economist specialized on Policy Analysis and Programme Development and is located in Tanzania. She works with organizations to analyze causes, effects, and challenges posed by climate change and develops solutions with a gender perspective.

Elizabeth Teague
Elizabeth Teague

Senior Director Climate Resilience, Root Capital

Elizabeth Teague leads Root Capital’s strategy to advance urgent climate action in frontline agricultural communities. Under her leadership, since 2020 Root Capital has deployed more than $250 million in climate finance to agricultural enterprises across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Pablo Ruiz
Pablo Ruiz

Executive Director, HRNS Central America

Pablo Ruiz leads alliances of Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) with the public and private sector in Guatemala and Honduras, addressing 7,000 coffee growing families and 100 social economy organizations in more than 13 projects. He is an Agricultural Engineer and has been working with the foundation since 2009.

Victor Komakech
Victor Komakech

Climate Change Coordinator, HRNS Uganda

Victor Komakech holds an MSc Degree in Natural Resources Management and has more than 20 years of experience working with smallholder farmers in the fields of Agriculture, Climate Change, Livelihood Improvement, Agroforestry, and Sustainable Energy, among others. Before joining HRNS, he worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and held positions as National Chairperson for the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and as Climate Change Training Coordinator for the East African Farmers Federation.


Anika Nicolaudius

Schedule Day 1

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

2:00 pm Central European Time (CET)

Please click to convert to your time zone


Welcome Note

Stefan Ruge,
HRNS Germany

Movie Streaming:
It’s Bean Too Hot
Coffee | Climate | Conservation
Its bean too hot poste

It’s Bean Too Hot is a movie by filmmaker Hedvika Michnova. It tells the story of farmers whose livelihoods are at stake as they need to quickly adapt to the changing conditions, and the heroes out there fighting for the future of coffee every day. This film shows the effect of climate change through the eyes of those who are feeling it the most. Coffee farmers that have had to struggle with the drastic effect of the changing weather affecting their production completely. But not all is lost! There are solutions that farmers can adapt to change their way of farming and save coffee for the future. By adopting sustainable practices, these solutions not only save your cup of coffee but also protect the environment in return. More info at:

Impacts of Climate Change on Coffee Production, Landscapes, and Livelihoods 

Resilience of What and for Whom? Climate Adaptation and Transformation of Coffee-Growing Communities

Janina Grabs, ESADE Business School

In the face of climate change, coffee-growing communities are frequently encouraged to take adaptive measures. This talk provides insights into the various ways climate adaptation and transformation might look like at the community level. It also questions how the various pathways align with resilience at other levels, particularly the resilience of the national and global coffee sectors. How public and private actors are shaping and supporting resilience pathways will have important consequences on local livelihood outcomes. The talk highlights the need for greater producer empowerment in making decisions – even if that decision means exiting coffee production.

Coffee Crops Under Climate Stress – Impacts of Climate Change on Coffee Production from Global to Local

Christian Bunn, CIAT

Climate change comes with longer droughts, erratic rainfalls, hailstorms, and even frosts in tropical regions. These are just a few visible impacts that take a toll on coffee production and the livelihoods of smallholder families and their communities. Christian Bunn will present the many different faces of climate change, how its effects are progressing in the coffee-growing regions, and what is to be expected in the future.

Food Security for Smallholder Coffee Producers and the Role of Certifications and Cooperatives

Dr. Tina Beuchelt, ZEF

Lost harvests and decreasing yields are becoming more common for smallholder farmers all over the world. Dr. Tina Beuchelt will present the state of food security and living conditions of smallholder coffee producers and farm workers in a changing climate with a focus on Central and Latin America. The role and impact of certifications, the importance of cooperatives and approaches to strengthen food security will be discussed.

Best Practice Examples and Solution Approaches

More Than a Climate Shield – The Concept of Dynamic Agroforestry Systems in Coffee Cultivation

Dr. Joachim Milz, ECOTOP Fundación

As coffee farming grapples with the impacts of climate change, exploring sustainable practices becomes imperative. Integrating trees, shrubs, and other elements of a diverse ecosystem has the potential to mitigate climate change impacts on coffee plants. In his talk, Dr. Joachim Milz explores how Dynamic Agroforestry Systems can be implemented in coffee cultivation. He delves into the practicality, benefits, and challenges of this approach. 

Circular Economy – Using Organic Waste to Adapt to Climate Change

Leonidas Melo,
UFLA, Brazil, and Silvia Torres,
HRNS Brazil

Coffee husks, pruning residues, waste water from coffee processing – what sounds like waste and mere byproducts has in fact a great value that is oftentimes untapped. Circular Economy integrates these resources into sustainable farming practices, creating benefits in many ways. Leonidas Melo and Silvia Torres share their scientific insights and hands-on experience with climate-smart practices using organic waste from coffee cultivation in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Climate-Pioneers – How to Involve the Next Generation to Become Local Climate Leaders

Pablo Ruiz,
HRNS Central America

Young people in tropical regions often lack a perspective of how they can shape their lives and earn a good living in rural communities. Climate Pioneers is a successful concept from Honduras. It supports and guides youth in developing social capabilities, teamwork, time management, problem solving, and  adaptability. Through this training, they build self-confidence and learn to influence their own life and take informed

6:30 pm CET
End Day 1

Schedule Day 2

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

3:00 pm Central European Time (CET)

Please click to convert to your time zone

Welcome Day 2

Challenges in the Implementation: First Hand Experiences and Learnings

Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation: Transforming Challenges into Sustainable Development Successes

Victor Komakech, HRNS Uganda

This talk dives into the pivotal role of stakeholder engagement in development programs, highlighting challenges such as reduced program relevance, community disconnection, and increased resistance when stakeholders are sidelined. Victor Komakech will explore the practical advantages of Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation (PM&E) as a solution for projects in sustainable coffee production, emphasizing collaborative and inclusive strategies to overcome these challenges and achieve sustained, meaningful outcomes.

How Imbalanced is Your Approach? What We Miss When We Don’t Include Women in Climate Action

Eutropia Ngido

Studies show that the least gender-equal societies are often the most vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, improvements in gender equality obviously contribute to climate resilience. Women bear a great potential for climate action. A potential that still stays untapped to a large extent because of gender inequality. Eutropia Ngido is giving insight into the reality of gender inequality related to climate change in East Africa.

Investing in Climate Action with Coffee Communities: Lessons Learned from Partnering with Farmer-Allied Businesses

Elizabeth Teague, Root Capital

Climate action requires significant new investment by coffee farmers and supply chain partners – yet less than 2 % of global climate finance goes to small-scale agricultural supply chains. Over the last three years, Root Capital has been working to help close the climate finance gap for smallholder coffee communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In this session, Root Capital will share lessons from their experience providing climate finance to coffee cooperatives and other farmer-allied businesses championing climate action in their communities.

Digital Innovation: The Promise vs the Reality for Smallholder Coffee Farmers

Claire Rhodes, Producers Direct

Digital innovation has significant potential to enhance the resilience of smallholder coffee farmers to changing climates.  Yet the benefit of digital technologies and data remains largely inaccessible to most smallholder farmers worldwide. Claire will share lessons learnt from Producers Direct’s experience in designing and scaling farmer-led approaches to digital innovation.

5:30 pm CET
End of the Symposium