Why Coffee is at Risk & How We Can Save It

Why Coffee is at Risk & How We Can Save It

Coffee is a fruit. To be more clear; the coffee beans we so regularly enjoy as a beverage are, in fact, the seed of the fruit that grows on the coffee shrub or tree. There are typically two seeds (coffee beans) inside of each coffee cherry. Some coffee cherries harbor a single seed called a "peaberry." The coffee plant is native to eastern Africa where, as the story goes, a goat herder witnessed their goats 'bouncing off the walls' after eating the coffee cherries. Somehow, this was a long time ago, they figured out how to cultivate seeds and roast then brew them to make a beverage.

Today, coffee is one of the biggest commodities on the planet. The reason we are so interested in coffee is because of where it grows. Coffee grows all around the world, but it's confined within particular environmental parameters that exist in an area known as the "bean belt" which wraps around the circumference globe with its fringe reaching about 25 degrees north and 30 degrees south of the equator.

These areas create the most ideal environment to grow delicious coffee as well as other global staples like cacao (chocolate). They also happen to be incredibly vulnerable to climate change and global warming. As the average temperature increases in these areas, diseases spread, seasonal weather fluctuates, and the ecological balance that makes the agriculture in these areas so productive is dramatically disrupted leaving some farmers high and dry, in some cases, relegated to abandoning the farm that's been in their family for generations. 

These ecological changes are significant enough to put coffee at risk of extinction. This doesn't mean that we will carry on as normal until one day, coffee evaporates out of thin air and is no longer available. It means that, unless we enact and commit to new, effective operational agricultural standards, over time we will see the supply of coffee diminish causing prices to increase and shifting the coffee culture we know and love into a completely different experience. 

When we are able to tip the scales so most, if not all, farms are working with the natural ecology of their environment instead of utilizing outdated chemical systems to control growth, we believe that coffee, along with wildlife habitat and economic security for farmers, can be preserved. 

Our belief is that when the human collective prioritizes environmental stewardship, all life will flourish.  

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published