Sustainable Coffee

There are over one million acres under Coffee plantation in India, providing employment for over a million workers. The domestic market is experiencing rapid year-on-year growth and urban India has embraced coffee chains and café culture.

But the benefits that should be accruing to rural communities with booming market are going undelivered. The long-term risk of climate change is poorly understood.

Why we do coffee …

CSM has picked this commodity over others to symbolize how entrepreneurship can – and must – be engendered for people, planet and prosperity. Our Sustainable Coffee Initiative seeks to influence the coffee sector in the interest of sustainable and pro-poor growth. It seeks to help mitigate negative climate impacts on fragile ecosystems and regenerate local economies with positive spillovers for national well-being.

Connecting with consumers and producers…

Importantly it also provides a powerful connect with the consumer. If emerging India is to avoid destructive over-consumption, we need to engage and empower the consumer.

Coffee shops have always attracted the young and educated. From urban to rural areas, they have been the hub of social exchange and new ideas.
we are working with leading coffee retailers to raise awareness of climate change and sustainability for a new generation of consumers.

Partnership with Karnataka Growers Federation

At the core of our initiative is a partnership with Karnataka Growers Federation. Who are those at the bottom of the pyramid who are feeling the effects of climate destabilization without always the means to adapt to them.

Walking for Climate Justice

CSM’s Pushpanath Krishnamurthy with Karnataka Growers Federation walked through the Karnataka’s coffee heartland, the Western Ghats, to raise awareness of climate change and its effect on India’s people and environment.


At a more global level, we are planning action research that will look at trends and best practice in the coffee economy worldwide.  Through this we hope to learn from like-minded efforts and build convergence for a sector that can fit into a more sustainable economy of the future.

CSM has recently commissioned the globally recognised Pavan Sukhdev’s  research consultancy, GIST to conduct pioneering work into the ecosystem value and benefits of the coffee sector in India. We have partnered with the Forestry College  Kodagu, situated within the Western Ghats. It is a unique partnership from a local mass based farmers organisation, a front line research college in the coffee land with a globally recognised organisation.

This initiative on sustainable coffee and its role in biodiversity has received some seed funding from India’s largest coffee retailer, Cafe Coffee Day.

Download our brochure about our work on coffee