Why We Love Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee
"Start wherever you are and start small." ~Rita Bailey
Green Frog Makes a Splash at Zavida
In 2006 we received our first batch of Rainforest Alliance™ Certified coffee. As the old-style burlap bags printed with large green Rainforest Alliance logos sat there staring at us, we couldn't wait to get the coffee fired up in our Probat roaster and taste the certified beans.
Little did we know then that the not-for-profit Rainforest Alliance would become something that we are very proud of today.
Coffee With a Cause
For years the online debate has raged over which certification, Fair Trade vs. Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee, is the fairest. In our opinion, they are both great! Both taking small steps to make big changes in the lives of the farmers who bring us the green coffee beans we all love to enjoy with our families and friends.
At the end of the day however, we had to decide who we would partner with and we chose to support the people over at the Rainforest Alliance for lots of reasons. After almost a year of research, we concluded that a hands-on, environmental sustainability approach would result in the biggest direct benefit to the farmers on the fields themselves while ensuring good crops for years to come (Check out this awesome video for more info).
But the certification comes with a whole host of other benefits and success stories as well:
Luckily, coffee has not been the target of prevalent genetic modification around the world. However with widespread concern and the recent surge in support of California's Proposition 37 it is still nice to know that the Rainforest Alliance seal ensures transgenic (genetically modified) crops must not be used on certified farms.
Rainforest Alliance coffee is grown on farms where forests and wildlife are protected and rivers and soils conserved. Certified farms also commit to reduced pesticide use and have banned the use of the most dangerous known pesticides. Small changes, like reusing the pulp from old coffee trees, has also led to a reduction in the need to purchase fertilizers from third parties thus improving farm profitability.
Certified farms ensure workers have access to education, medical care and appropriate housing. The SAN Standards also ensure workers get paid at least the national minimum wage and receive full rights and benefits.
6 years later, over 40% off all the coffee we purchase at Zavida is Rainforest Alliance Certified and our commitment is growing everyday. We welcome you to join us on our journey and hope that our small steps will lead to big change in the years to come.