Sustainable Coffee: Brewed In Tradition

I don’t think there is anything better than rising with the sun with a toasty cup of coffee. There’s something about the smell and comfort of the energetic elixir to start the day. However, do you ever stop to think how many of us our drinking this ancient brew on the daily? Not to mention how many plastic cups are used…but also how much coffee farming it takes to keep up with demand? To all my coffee drinkers in the world, listen up on the true cost of coffee. It’s time we look to the roots of tradition for coffee to once again become sustainable.

Coffee Consuming Our Planet

Coffee Plant By Clint McKoy

According to coffee industry estimates, in order to keep up with consumer demand for coffee, coffee production will need to triple by 2050. This will require an area the size of Honduras and Nicaragua combined to be converted to coffee. –Mesoamerican Development Institute

Over 1 billion individuals in the world drink coffee every day, not surprisingly making coffee the second-most traded commodity globally. Yet, coffee farmers can’t keep up with the global demands for sustainable coffee.

Traditionally, coffee is harvested in areas of high elevations that naturally grow under the shaded canopy of trees. The shelter from canopies also provides a valuable habitat for indigenous animals, as well as preventing topsoil erosion and removing the need for chemical fertilizers.These techniques contribute to biodiversity conservation while providing coffee farmers a living sustainably.

Due to the push of the global coffee demand, it has encouraged unsustainable farming practices as farmers are using more land without the shade of canopy trees for coffee at the expense of forest habitat. This new and unsustainable practice is threatening the remaining forests in Central and South America. These high-elevation forests are crucial for the watersheds that sustain coffee growing communities and supply drinking water. In order to keep us all happy and awake, its crucial coffee farmers once again practice traditional shade grown coffee. On our part, it’s important to support those farmers by buying their coffee or taking such coffee tours so they can continue their livelihoods and contribute to habitat conservation!

Sun-Grown Coffee VS. Shade Grown Coffee

Throughout Central America, the equivalent to 6,500 hectares of forest is consumed each year to supply the firewood for drying the coffee harvest. As the global demand for coffee increases, forests are cleared for coffee plantations, contributing significantly to deforestation, biodiversity loss and climate change. Cafe Solar

Coopedota: Costa Rica’s Conscious Coffee

Coopedota is the first coffee co-op in the world to be certified carbon-neutral in 2011 located right in San Maria De Dota, Costa Rica. Not only is Costa Rica amazing in sustainable tourism, but also their coffee! Of course we had to make this a stop on our new and improved Costa Rica Tour!

Reducing their environmental impact all the way back in the 1960’s, Coopedota’s mission is to pave the the way in sustainable production and commercialization of the coffee industry. They as well hold many other prestigious certifications that add to their environmental credibility like the Rainforest Alliance Certification. As you may know, we are all over certifications as great indicators of companies that are legitimate and greenwash free! Not to mention their coffee is like a dreamy delicacy!

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