Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You Make A Difference When You Purchase 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.

The Rainforest Alliance seal on a package of whole or ground beans means that the farms and farming cooperatives that harvested the product have met rigorous certification qualifications. There are specific economic, social, and environmental criteria restrictions. The organization works with the certified farmers to ensure workers are living and working under humane conditions regardless of gender.

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.

This business may be booming, but few farmers have benefited from the success. Many farmers opt to plant single crops which involves leveling forests. This organization is dedicated to convincing local planters that by increasing their yield in an environmentally responsible way, they will harvest more product and become a more powerful force in the local marketplace.

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.

Poverty and violence go hand in hand along with a lack of education when it comes to preserving the rainforest and wildlife habitats. Workers have long been victims of labor law violations, disenfranchisement, and displacement. This organization realizes the importance of establishing economic security within the community.

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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