Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru’s Coffeelands

Long before COVID-19 entered our lives, sustainable coffee was working to combat a price crisis in specialty coffee and also do its part to combat the climate crisis. Specialty coffee farmers worldwide were being drastically underpaid for their contributions to the industry and the planet was on-track for suffering irreparable damage at the hands of profit-hungry humans.

Those crises still exist.

But at the intersection of coffee and climate hope still exists for change. Small, incremental efforts are still underway to make sustainable coffee a reality for both farmers and the planet.

One such initiative is a women-led reforestation project at CAC Pangoa, a long-time trading partner of ours in Peru.

Women-led Reforestation in Peru’s Coffeelands

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 1

This Earth Day, we are asking you to invest in sustainable coffee and help keep regenerative agriculture alive. For the next two weeks, we are encouraging you to donate to a reforestation effort led by some 90 women farmers at the CAC Pangoa cooperative, a long-time trading partner in Peru.

We are partnering with the non-profit Grow Ahead to help fund Pangoa’s reforestation efforts. Grow Ahead is committed to combating climate change by supporting agro-forestry systems that are good for both farmers and the planet. Learn more here and see graphic below.

Since October, Grow Ahead has been working with Cooperative Coffees & its members (our partners in sustainable coffee sourcing) to help Pangoa raise enough money to plant about 22,500 trees on 45 hectares of land in the Central Amazon region. We want to help them.

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 2
Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, general manager of the CAC Pangoa cooperative.

You Donate, We Say Thanks With Coffee

We want to encourage you to donate to Pangoa’s reforestation project, so now thru May 15, we are offering a deal.

Everyone who donates via THIS LINK will receive a code for 15% off their coffee order in our online store.

Offers are good through May 31, and can not be combined with other discounts.

You’ll receive your code via email after you donate.


You can’t Donate? We are Still Grateful

We understand this is a difficult time to donate money. If you can only send positive energy our way, we will be forever grateful.

If you can only afford to order coffee, we have an incentive for you, too.

Starting today through April 30th, anyone who places an order in our online store will be entered to win $100 worth of trees planted in their name.

Because each tree costs about $1, that’s 100 trees planted in Peru, because you supported sustainable coffee.

We will announce the lucky carbon-offsetter on May 1.

What is Sustainable Coffee?

Since 1998, we’ve found that sustainable coffee is rooted in paying small-scale farmers far more than commodity pricing and establishing long-term trade relationships based on mutual respect and trust. For us this includes, price transparency, supporting cooperatives, re-opening contracts, returning year-after-year to purchase from the same suppliers and more (see this blog post for a more detailed description of our efforts).

Supporting climate resilience, we are learning, means investing in those same farmers to practice regenerative agriculture. As stewards of the world’s green spaces, farmers can take carbon out of the atmosphere and put nutrients back in the soil, helping to cool our ever-heating planet.

sustainable coffee is supported by a tree canopy. here a woman sits in the dirt at a nursery, preparing tree saplings for planting.
Tree saplings in Peru at the Pangoa cooperative. Photo courtesy of Grow Ahead.

Will COVID-19 Impact Sustainable Coffee?

Short-answer: Yes. It already has.

Longer-answer: Most coffee shops and cafes can not welcome the same walk-up foot-traffic they once had, so demand for specialty coffee is dropping. But many people are looking for coffee in other places- like in grocery stores or online.

At origin, coffee producers are also being asked to shelter-in place. The movement of goods is slowing down. We’ve heard reports that in one country a cooperative was moving its coffee harvest down the mountain via truck only to reach a wall of dirt blocking the road (a governmental effort to force sheltering in-place).

Warehouses and ports are likely to slow their work because workers will get sick. There’s a concern that exporters and importers might break their contracts because coffee demand is dropping in coffee shops worldwide.

There is an impact- one that we hope to better understand in the coming months.

Glimmers of Hope

In the mean time, though, our sustainable coffee supply chain still exists. We are still roasting and selling Pangoa’s excellent coffee, and they are still planting trees to help reforest the Amazon.

What Does Sustainable Coffee Look Like?

Below is a graphic developed by Grow Ahead that shows how a healthy agro-forestry system can offer food and income for a small-scale farming family.

It also offers habitat for flora and fauna, while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere.

When producers at Pangoa plant trees, they will be contributing to an agro-forestry system similar to this one.

Please support Pangoa this Earth Day. Learn more here.

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 3

Fight Climate Change with Sustainable Coffee: Plant Trees in Peru's Coffeelands 4
Coffee farmed in an agro-forestery style method at Pangoa. Photo courtesy of Grow Ahead.
April 17, 2020
BY Café Campesino
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