A GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE COFFEE
Coffee-growing regions are concentrated in Latin America and South America in environmentally fragile regions such as mountains and tropical rainforests. At Avenidas, we are committed to bringing our customers the best coffee from Guatemala and continuing to prioritize being a sustainable coffee brand. Many coffee brands operate unsustainably. What is the difference between sustainable coffee and unsustainable coffee?
Unsustainable coffee has a high negative impact on its surrounding environment: farmers often remove forests to increase growing capacity and create issues such as soil erosion in mountain growing regions. Further brands are unsustainable when they are paying their worker's low wages and placing them in dire conditions to keep the price of coffee low. Climate change will have an impact on coffee-growing regions, impacting their ability to grow.
Growing coffee is a long process-- check out our last blog post to see the process condensed into eight steps. How is it possible to make the entire process sustainable? The best sustainable coffee brands do the following: manage water usage, efficient crop management, and utilize coffee bean waste as fertilizer. How do you know if your coffee is sustainably grown coffee? One of the three labels outlined below should be on your coffee bag:
Rainforest Alliance Certified: The Rainforest Alliance certifies that farms meet specific requirements and acknowledges that these farms have created better living and working standards.
Shade-Grown: Shade-grown coffee was the original basis for coffee growing. Regions using shade-growing techniques aid in preventing erosion and increasing biodiversity. Many companies using shade-growing regions are labeled as ‘bird-friendly.
USDA Organic: USDA organic certifications do not require shade-growing regions, however, do not permit synthetic materials such as fertilizers and pesticides while requiring limiting soil erosion.
At Avenidas, we are certified USDA organic. We are committed to bringing you natural organic, sustainable, premium coffee all at a fair price. We are committed to paying our farmer's sustainable wages: we work directly with our farmers, who are paid above market prices to ensure we get the best beans possible as part of our direct trade relationship with them. Avenidas is bird-friendly-- hummingbirds are concentrated in our region and help to pollinate our coffee plants. Finally, we are committed to the longevity of the climate: the forests, lands, and water are important in everything we do.