Coffee Rust

Rust Response Fund

Thank you for your interest in donating to Fair Trade USA’s Rust Response Fund. With your support, small-scale coffee farmers will have access to the tools and resources needed to fight one of the most devastating rust outbreaks in recent history.

About Rust

According to APS, “Coffee rust is the most economically important coffee disease in the world, and in monetary value, coffee is the most important agricultural product in international trade.”

Rust, aka Roya, is caused by the fungus Hemileia Vastatrix. It infects individual coffee leaves, eventually inhibiting the plant’s ability to produce cherries. This particular outbreak, believed to be caused by climate change and poor land management, has led many Central American countries to declare a state of emergency. Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador are among the most affected. Experts claim the outbreak could decrease coffee production for the 2013-2014 harvest by up to 50%.

Small-scale farmers in these regions are particularly vulnerable to rust due to high poverty levels and the inability to invest in proper prevention techniques.

“This is a structural crisis for the sector. In fact, this is a critical moment for small producers. Those that can’t update their technologies will be forced to abandon production.”- Antonio Cordon, CRECER.

About the Rust Response Fund

Here at Fair Trade USA, we’re committed to helping small-scale Fair Trade farmers not only fight the current Roya outbreak, but also to prevent future outbreaks. That’s why we’ve developed the Rust Response Fund, designed to support rust mitigation and prevention in the most affected regions.  Here’s what you should know:

  1. Fair Trade USA has already committed $50,000 to the Fund, and is collecting additional donations between March and June to further support rust-related programs in major coffee producing regions in Central America.
  2. Fair Trade USA will contribute 100% of the donations to Fair Trade producer organizations.
  3. Farming organizations will apply directly to Fair Trade USA for this grant, and must present a project proposal for consideration.
  4. Grant recipients will be selected by an external grant committee comprised of industry members, NGO representatives and agronomy specialists.
  5. Fair Trade USA will monitor all winning projects from start to completion and will share regular progress updates.
  6. This grant money can be used on projects such as: plant rehabilitation, farmer training, organic application, soil management, hiring rust consultants, etc…

If you love coffee, and Fair Trade, help us support our amazing producer partners in their effort to fight the Roya. You can be part of the solution. 

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