The frost damage and drought to the Brazilian coffee crop earlier this year has sent commodity prices for raw green beans soaring by over 50% and is leading to a worldwide shortage of green coffee beans. Climate change is certainly to blame but intensive agricultural practices have not helped either. In the pursuit of higher yields, many coffee growing areas have employed more intensive farming techniques that have changed the mountain landscape from rain forest to mono culture coffee farms. As in Ireland there is a established link between promoting biodiversity and its positive impact on developing sustainable agriculture in terms of improved yield and product quality.
Our speciality Woodland coffee is made from 100% Arabica coffee beans that are Rainforest Alliance Certified. Arabica coffee plants are self-pollinating and don’t need any direct assistance from bees to pollinate but the presence of healthy bee populations leads to higher coffee yields. Bees and other insects interact with the ecosystem that helps control pests and disease that otherwise curtail the healthy growing cycle of the coffee plant. Coffee grown under shade (the forest canopy) allows for greater protection from weather events like frost but also provides shelter for a myriad of flower and fauna that allow for a thriving balanced ecosystem.
Growing coffee in harmony with the Rainforest will not stop severe frost events but it will go some way in mitigating the damage caused by these events thereby protecting the communities that depend on the coffee crop for their livelihoods.
So what can we do to help the situation? Sourcing coffee that is Rain Forest Alliance (RFA) certified is a great step. Rainforest Alliance is an worldwide organisation that promotes sustainable agricultural practices to protect the social, economic and environmental coffee growing communities across the coffee belt. Woodland Coffee is roasted using only RFA coffee beans and we believe that this is one of the reasons why the coffee tastes so good. Please drop us a line, if you’d like to find out more!