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We all know that sustainable practices are vital for responsible agriculture around the world and coffee is no exeption. Rainforests–so-called “jewels of the Earth” for their extraordinary biodiversity, a cornucopia of natural medicines, and crucial air quality function (nearly one-third of atmospheric oxygen is processed by tropical rainforests) are under an alarming threat.
Agriculture adjacent to tropical rainforests is encroaching on and destroying the rainforest at an unfathomable rate. Over sixty percent of the earth’s total rainforest ecosystem has succumbed to harvest, destruction, or redevelopment since the industrial revolution, an incalculable loss.
It may seem like an insurmountable task but there are people and organizations on the forefront of the sustainable agriculture movement that we can support. One such organization is Rainforest Alliance.
Rainforest Alliance certifies producers that meet the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standard which includes general and local conservation requirements, environmental protections, child labor restrictions and other worker protections, guidelines for the reduction of agrochemicals, and the prohibition of transgenic crops.
Caravan Coffee is proud to offer a number of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees.
Brazil Monte Carmelo and El Salvador Las Isabellas.
While Rainforest Alliance certification isn’t a guarantee of absolute sustainability or other ethical credentials (worker protections, for instance) it is regarded by academia and third-party evaluators as a meaningful part of the burgeoning sustainability solution for products with a historically devastating impact on tropical rainforests and workers alike including coffee, tea, cocoa etc.
(Note that certified organic and Fair Trade Certified coffees such as Caravan’s exquisite Organic Sumatra Mandheling are also regarded as generally more sustainable and ethical than many non-certified counterparts.)
– Garrett Schwanke