Sustainability is a popular buzzword in coffee, and the industry as a whole continues to set a good example of better, more conscious practices throughout the supply chain. We know that sustainability needs to be a pillar in all that we do, but this can still be an elusive concept for many, often driven by emotions more than facts. The world is better with coffee in it. Below are some ways we are striving to sustain our romance:
The average grower in our network is over 60 years old. Coffee’s slow maturation and market volatility discourages younger generations from maintaining legacy farms, often times seeking new opportunity in cities like Bogota (with little success). If future generations are going to continue their legacy, it has to make economic sense. The following are some of the things that we offer to our producing partners:
Financial and technical support are paramount to sustaining our coffee-growing families, but still you cannot eat money or even coffee! To further address lapses in sustainability, we’ve demarcated 6700m2 for our Agroforestry project.
Simply put, agroforestry is an intentional integration of farming with the surrounding natural environment. In this instance, we are growing coffee next to a wide range of crops (such as beans, corn, and bananas) amongst perennial species like cedar, avocado, walnut, and guayacan.
This is all done organically, to further decrease the need for inputs. With this model, we hope to be able to share with our neighbors a means to better support themselves and their families financially and nutritionally, while leaving the land enriched and viable for generations to come.
When we first set foot on what would become our land for growing specialty coffee, we invited a biologist to scour the terrain and to help us identify native flora and fauna. During the visit, we discovered that we had two rare species cohabiting the farm: the Emerald Toucan and the endangered Wax Palm.
The fruit of the Wax Palm is an important source of food for the Emerald Toucan, and thusly the Toucan spreads the Palm’s seeds. The two are meant to be. But both species are challenged by habitat loss, which sadly is oftentimes driven by coffee plantations.
We would rather be a part of the solution than the problem. We’re starting with two initiatives:
We strongly believe that some things are meant to be, and will do our very best to keep it that way.