Updated climate risk zoning for canephora coffee in Brazil

heap of red coffee berries in wicker basket
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Brazil, a global coffee powerhouse, takes a bold step towards sustainable coffee cultivation with the updated Agricultural Climate Risk Zoning (Zarc) for canephora coffee. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock recently released Ordinance No. 6 and No. 7, unveiling insights into climate risk zones for coffee growers. This update, formulated by Embrapa experts, enhances the precision of cultivation and production planning.

The Zarc plays a crucial role in delineating regions and optimal cultivation periods based on climate risk classes. For perennial crops like coffee, Zarc is divided into two studies: one identifying low-risk municipalities for established coffee plantations, and the other determining optimal periods for new plantings. The canephora coffee Zarc now incorporates soil classification, irrigation practices, and production systems, offering a comprehensive risk assessment for stakeholders in the sector.

This update is a result of refined zoning methodologies and a decade of accumulated knowledge since the last canephora Zarc edition in 2010. The canephora coffee, also known as robusta and conilon, thrives in 11 municipalities across ten states, with major production hubs in Espírito Santo, Rondônia, and Bahia. Recent innovations include the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation’s (Embrapa) clonal varieties, expanding cultivation to regions like Acre and Roraima. The recognition of Robustas Amazônicos with a geographical indication in 2021 signifies the unique quality and sustainability potential of the region’s coffee.

Economic Impact and Production Insights

According to the Coffee Observatory, the gross revenue from coffees in 2023 reached almost BRL 50 billion, with robusta and conilon contributing 24% of this total. Canephora coffee currently constitutes 30% of Brazil’s coffee production, occupying nearly 400,000 hectares and yielding approximately 16.2 million bags in the 2022/2023 season, as reported by Conab.

With higher caffeine content, soluble solids, and acidity than its arabica counterpart, canephora coffee is sought after for soluble coffee production and blending. Its resilience to diseases, lower input dependency, and potential for sustainable production have driven ongoing breeding programs by Embrapa, benefitting both family farmers and the environment.


The updated Zarc for canephora coffee reflects Brazil’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices, aligning with global efforts towards a greener and more resilient coffee industry. As stakeholders leverage this comprehensive risk assessment, the Brazilian coffee landscape stands poised for continued growth, quality improvement, and environmental stewardship.