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What You Need To Know About Sustainable Coffee

AUTHOR

Martha Duffy

DATE

July 18, 2023

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In recent years, sustainability has become a buzzword across various industries, and the coffee sector is no exception. Sustainable coffee is gaining popularity as consumers become more environmentally and socially conscious. But what exactly is sustainable coffee, and why is it so important? 

This article delves into the world of sustainable coffee, highlighting its significance, environmental benefits, social impact, and what the future holds for this eco-friendly coffee farming approach.

What is Sustainable Coffee?

Sustainable coffee refers to the cultivation, production, and trade of coffee beans in a manner that preserves the environment, protects biodiversity, and ensures fair and ethical treatment of coffee farmers and workers. It involves a holistic approach to coffee farming that considers the well-being of the ecosystem, the people involved, and the long-term viability of the coffee industry.

The Importance of Sustainable Coffee

Sustainable coffee is not just a passing trend; it is a crucial aspect of safeguarding our planet’s resources and ensuring a better future for coffee-producing communities. By embracing sustainable practices, the coffee industry can play a significant role in reducing its ecological footprint. 

Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Coffee Farming

Reduced Deforestation

Sustainable coffee farming often involves shade-grown cultivation, where coffee plants grow under the canopy of trees. This method helps preserve forests, providing a habitat for diverse plant and animal species.

Biodiversity Conservation

Unlike conventional coffee farms that rely on monoculture, sustainable coffee farms encourage biodiversity. This diversity fosters natural pest control and ensures a healthier ecosystem.

Soil Health Preservation

Sustainable coffee farming practices, such as composting and organic fertilisation, promote soil health and fertility. This leads to increased productivity and reduces the need for synthetic chemicals.

Water Conservation

Sustainable coffee farming aims to minimise water usage through efficient irrigation methods and water recycling. This helps address water scarcity issues in coffee-growing regions.

Social and Economic Impact of Sustainable Coffee

Fair Wages for Coffee Farmers

Sustainable coffee initiatives often guarantee fair prices for coffee beans, enabling farmers to earn a decent income and support their families.

Improved Working Conditions

Sustainable coffee certifications require adherence to labour standards, ensuring that coffee workers are treated ethically and provided with safe working conditions.

Community Development

Sustainable coffee projects often invest in community development programs, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure, benefiting the entire coffee-growing community.

How You Can Support Sustainable Coffee

If you are a cafe owner, choose coffee beans over instant coffee. Ground coffee is environmentally and economically more sustainable than instant coffee because it requires fewer green coffee beans and energy to produce the same amount of product. It also usually comes in less plastic packaging. 

You can also support the sustainable coffee movement by choosing certified coffee products.

Certifications and Labels To Look Out For

One of the most reliable ways to identify a sustainable coffee brand is by checking for certifications on the packaging. These certifications ensure that the coffee brand meets specific environmental, social, and ethical standards.

Fair Trade

The Fair Trade certification ensures that coffee is produced and traded under fair conditions. It promotes transparency, fair pricing, and community empowerment.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance certification focuses on environmental and social sustainability, promoting responsible farming practices and forest conservation.

Organic Certification

Organic coffee is grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilisers, protecting the environment and the health of farmers and consumers.

How To Choose A Sustainable Coffee Brand

With numerous coffee options available in the market, finding the right sustainable brand can seem overwhelming. However, by considering a few key factors and looking for the aforementioned certifications, you can easily identify a coffee brand that aligns with your values. 

Make sure you research the company’s sustainability initiatives. Visit their website and look for information on their sourcing methods, waste reduction efforts, and initiatives to support coffee-producing communities. Do they have case studies showcasing their conservation efforts? 

Look for coffee brands that engage in direct trade with coffee farmers or support smallholder farmers in coffee-growing regions. Direct trade involves forming direct relationships with farmers, ensuring fair prices for their coffee, and supporting sustainable farming practices. 

A sustainable coffee brand should demonstrate transparency, highlighting its efforts to support coffee-growing communities and ensure fair working conditions. Look for brands that invest in social initiatives and prioritise the welfare of their workers and the communities they operate in.

Puro: A Fairtrade Coffee Brand

Puro Coffee is a coffee brand passionate about making a difference. Sourced from small-scale farmers in Peru, Honduras, and Ethiopia, who use the most organic and sustainable farming practices. At Miko Coffee, we stock and supply forward-thinking cafes around the country with delicious Puro coffee beans. 

Puro is 100% fairtrade certified. By working closely with small-scale coffee farmers, the company helps them improve their farming practices and increase their yields. As a result, farmers are able to earn a fair wage and support their families.

Puro Coffee also works in partnership with the World Land Trust. As part of its efforts to protect the environment, the World Land Trust uses the funds to buy and protect rainforests and land in conservation areas. It also works with local communities to promote sustainable farming and land use practices. support local economies.

Since 2016, Puro has been working towards becoming carbon neutral, and ensures that the carbon generated during cultivation, milling, road haulage, ocean shipping, and roasting has been offset by REDD+.

Being Mindful of Coffee Consumption Habits

Reducing coffee waste and choosing sustainable coffee options when visiting cafes can make a positive impact. If you own a coffee shop, carefully choose where you want to source your coffee and equipment from. At Miko Coffee, we can install your coffee machine of choice with a selection of sustainable coffee beans and other supplies. We can then deliver your favourite blend to your door on a regular basis. 

The Future of Sustainable Coffee

The future of sustainable coffee looks promising as consumers and producers increasingly embrace environmentally and socially responsible practices. The coffee industry’s journey toward sustainability will continue to evolve, driven by innovation and a collective commitment to positive change.

Embracing sustainability in coffee cultivation and production ensures a bright future for your favourite morning beverage! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sustainable coffee more expensive?

Sustainable coffee may be slightly more expensive due to the fair prices paid to farmers and the costs associated with environmentally friendly practices. However, the extra cost is a worthwhile investment in supporting a more sustainable coffee industry.

How do I stock sustainable coffee in my cafe?

Miko Coffee has a range of different sustainable coffee options available. Simply sign up for a free tasting session and choose the one for your business. We will then deliver it straight to your door and make sure you never run out.  

Does sustainable coffee taste different from conventional coffee?

Sustainable coffee is often of high quality and has unique flavour profiles based on its growing conditions. Some coffee enthusiasts prefer the taste of sustainable coffee due to its diverse origins and processing methods.

Can I make a difference as an individual by choosing sustainable coffee?

Absolutely! Every individual’s choice to support sustainable coffee contributes to the demand for environmentally and socially responsible practices. Together, we can make a significant impact on the coffee industry and the world. 

If you want to try our delicious coffee for free and find the right blend for you and your customers, get in touch with our friendly team. 

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