Most global coffee firms will not be ready to comply with the European Union's new law preventing imports of commodities linked to deforestation, and small farmers may suffer as a consequence, a major coffee sector report has found.

The EU's landmark law, which comes into effect at the end of 2024, requires importers of commodities like coffee, cocoa, beef, soy, rubber and palm oil to produce a due diligence statement proving their goods are not contributing to the destruction of forests — a major source of climate change — or risk hefty fines.

According to the biennial Coffee Barometer, prepared by a group of NGOs, coffee firms' lack of preparedness for the law might prompt them to shift sourcing to more developed regions like Brazil that have better traceability, leaving millions of mostly small-scale, poverty-stricken farmers in the lurch.