Smallholder coffee farmers face enormous obstacles. They battle unpredictable weather, limited capital, and a notoriously volatile coffee market. We purchase coffee that is Fair Trade Certified to mitigate these obstacles and guarantee farmers more stability. The Fair Trade system ensures farmers receive a base price, as well as a social premium for community development. Since 2002, we’ve paid over $1.7 million in community development funds to our farmer partner communities. These funds have financed countless projects like local health clinics, soil testing labs, composting facilities, and training programs. They build stronger, more sustainable communities and a better quality of life.
Located in Western Honduras, COCAFCAL produces quality coffee in and around Las Capucas. We’ve purchased over 450,000 pounds from COCAFCAL since 2013, paying out over $91,000 in community development funds that have supported projects such as a local health clinic, a solar dryer, and crop diversification.
We’ve partnered with the COMSA farmer group in Marcala, Honduras for five years. During that time, we’ve purchased 114,229 pounds of green coffee, which has produced $22,826 in social premiums. These funds went toward the creation of a local farmers market, a quality control lab and education courses, and a soil analysis lab.
Our roastery runs on electricity sourced from wind, solar, and dairy farms across the Pacific Northwest through PSE’s Green Power Program. This renewable energy is an important part of our sustainability plan because it produces zero carbon emissions and allows us to reduce our fossil fuel usage as we update equipment from gas-powered to electric. Since we started matching 100% of our electricity with renewable energy in 2006, we have abated over 490 tons of CO2e. This is equivalent to taking approximately 108 passenger vehicles off the road for a year. For reference, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 tons of CO2e per year.
(Source: EPA, Green Vehicle Guide)
We’ve seen the challenges coffee farmers face from climate change, like coffee leaf rust, a fungus known to spread quickly and wipe out entire crops. This inspires us to take responsibility for our own carbon footprint. One of our guiding mantras is that you can’t change what you can’t measure. We did the hard work of measuring our carbon footprint and are delighted to share that our roastery and delivery fleet are now 100% carbon neutral. We’ll continue reducing our use of fossil fuels, removing emissions from the atmosphere, and reinvesting in coffee-growing communities. By 2030, we pledge to be historically carbon neutral.
We purchase carbon offset credits to remove our unavoidable CO2e from the atmosphere. We select Gold Standard-certified projects in coffee-growing regions that benefit both the environment and local communities. It’s our way to further support the people that make what we do possible.
We offset 5 historical years of CO2e by supporting two Gold Standard projects bringing improved cookstoves to families in rural Peru and Guatemala. The new stoves are more efficient than their counterparts, require less firewood, and reduce CO2 emissions. To remove our emissions from 2021, we helped fund a Hydroelectric Power Plant in Honduras that supplies renewable energy to the grid and improves the quality of electricity for the local community.
Image Credit: Gold Standard
Image credit: Gold Standard
We are proud to support non-profit organizations that are working to better our community, the environment, and the future of coffee farming. Some of the dedicated organizations we support include, World Coffee Research, Grounds for Health, Gold Standard, and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. In 2021, we donated over $20,000 in cash and 1,700 pounds of coffee to over a dozen organizations. We want the best future for the next generation. As we grow, our support grows.