Coffee and Climate Change

| 4/18/2011 4:49:33 PM

Tags: coffee, climate change, global warming, sustainability, sustainable farming, Anna Clark, Rainforest Alliance,

Did you know that more than 400 million cups of coffee are consumed each day in the U.S. alone? Coffee has become more than just a morning pick-me-up; it has become a cultural obsession. However, as we sip our morning cup o' joe, waiting for the caffeine buzz to kick-in, how many of us turn our thoughts to where the coffee beans were grown and how it impacts the environment and local communities? And who ever thought our beloved coffee could be directly linked to global climate change? 

The world’s coffee is cultivated and harvested by more than 25 million people throughout the tropics, often in areas regarded as high priorities for conservation. These coffee-growing communities depend on coffee for their livelihoods and it is at least as much a part of their cultural heritage as it is in the countries where coffee is consumed.   

Vietnam coffee workers  Charlie Watson 

Vietnam Coffee Workers © Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance has played a key role in the shift towards sustainable coffee production. But what exactly does the Rainforest Alliance do? In a nutshell, the Rainforest Alliance works to conserve forests and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices. Now, more than 1.5 million farm workers and their families are benefiting from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farming.  

If you’ve seen the Rainforest Alliance Certified green frog seal, you probably know that coffee stamped with the Rainforest Alliance Certified green frog seal is grown sustainably, benefiting wildlife and farm workers alike. Farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance must meet comprehensive environmental, social and economic standards that protect wildlife and waterways, conserve forests and improve the quality of life for farm workers and their local communities. What you might not know, however, is that in many cases the sustainable management practices implemented on Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms also help to mitigate the effects of climate change.  

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