Thursday, 6 July 2017

You Are Supporting Environmental Responsibility When You Choose Rainforest Alliance Coffee

By Brenda Schmidt

The first thing on many people's agenda in the morning is a hot mug of coffee. Some are even willing to pay significant amounts of money for a big cup of designer brew. There is such a demand for this product that the industry is booming. There are non-profit organizations dedicated to ensuring that a fraction of the profits eventually fall into the hands of the farmers and laborers who harvest the crops. When you opt to purchase a bag of Rainforest Alliance coffee for instance, you are contributing to the efforts of these workers.

When you see the seal on a bag of beans, you can rest assured that this product has met strict standards when it comes to environmental, economic, and social responsibility. The cooperatives and individual farmers who attain the certification have met or exceeded extensive criteria. A certificate means the workers they use earn a living wage and are treated in a fair and humane way. This includes the female workers.

Because the traditional method of growing beans requires the shade of the forests, farmers are taught the importance of preserving and fostering their natural resources. This organization works to ensure the protection of waterways and teaches local workers how to keep the land rich and productive. Many are using techniques to capture carbon and reduce the effects of global warming.

Although the coffee industry is thriving, Latin American farmers often see little of this wealth trickling into their pockets. Many end up abandoning their farms or leveling forests in order to plant single crops. With help from the Rainforest Alliance, many farmers are learning how to maximize the land they have, which increases their yield and produces more money at the market.

There is a direct relationship between agriculture and the effects of climate change. When the rainforests are decimated to make room for fields, greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. The Rainbow Alliance teaches communities how to protect and use their natural resources instead of destroying them.

Human rights violations go along with the lack of respect and proper education with regard to the importance of natural resources. It is not uncommon for laborers to live with poverty, violence, and displacement. This organization has as one of its goals economic security for these workers.

Individuals around the world can do simple things to help in this effort. Donations are welcome, but there are other ways to contribute. Consumers can choose to purchase beans that are certified with the official seal. They can frequent shops and restaurants that display the official rainforest frog. Tourists can book hotels and take tours through companies supporting the local communities. Encouraging local schools to educate students about the ecosystem and the importance of sustainable farming will have an impact.

Having a good cup of coffee is a habit for many and a real pleasure for those who enjoy it. How it is produced is important and should be considered when sipping. Every cup involves the environment, the economy, and the lives of the small communities that depend on the production.

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