Sustainable coffee is coffee that is grown and marketed for its sustainability. This includes certified organic, fair-trade and Rainforest Alliance coffee. Basically, coffee sustainability is about making coffee better for everyone. Many coffee-producing countries suffer from extreme poverty and lack effective social infrastructure.
In the highly volatile coffee market, producers and their families are incredibly vulnerable. The economic sustainability of the industry is closely linked to the social sustainability of communities around the world. Or, they can try to keep themselves at bay and protect themselves from pests, high temperatures and variable rainfall by redoubling their efforts on good agricultural practices and improving farm management, including replacing old and diseased coffee trees with improved, disease-resistant varieties. With Fairtrade certification, coffee producer organizations are guaranteed to receive at least the minimum Fairtrade price for their coffee, which aims to cover their production costs and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level. Governments, cooperatives and coffee companies can do their part to educate and encourage farmers to change their practices to protect the environment.
Today I teamed up with Chameleon Cold Cold-Brew to talk about the vital importance of sustainable coffee. Climate change and fair coffee prices are very important issues today, but sustainability is not a new idea in the world of coffee. Chameleon works directly with farming communities in Peru, Myanmar, Guatemala and Colombia to develop long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability throughout the coffee supply chain. In general, sustainable coffee refers to coffee that is grown, processed and sold in a way that is compatible with the environment in which it is grown and supports the livelihoods of the people who produce it.
A simplified supply chain could include a farmer who produces the coffee, an intermediary who buys the coffee, a processor and an exporter who prepares the coffee for transport, an importer who unloads the coffee at ports and then the roaster who roasts and packages it, before it reaches the stores on the website where it can be purchased. This is a new and important initiative to turn coffee into the world's first fully sustainable agricultural product, bringing together all the players in the coffee sector (producers, traders, roasters and retailers) to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee (and generate greater investments in it). However, in general terms, sustainably sourced coffee means green coffee that has been grown and processed under conditions that take into account social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. It's also vital to pay attention to HOW coffee is grown, both for the quality of the coffee and for the care of the land that makes it possible.
It will be necessary to work hard and collaborate to create greater demand for sustainability, to the point that we no longer have to choose between buying a sustainable cup of coffee and an unsustainable cup. A key way to ensure that coffee is obtained in a sustainable way is through the use of selected systems that conform to a recognized sustainability framework, such as the plans of the Global Coffee Platform, which also include the supervision of an external body to manage the assurance of standards, sometimes referred to as “certificates”. As early as 1962, when the first international agreement on coffee was signed, it was discussed how to limit the amount of surpluses in the market to ensure economic sustainability. They can move their coffee farms to higher altitudes that are increasingly suitable for coffee production.
The climate is slightly colder on average the higher you climb.