One World Weblog
It’s Time to “Brew the Right Thing!” — Eco Consciousness of Sumatran Coffees
Every now and again we need to remind ourselves why eco-consciousness is so important for the coffee industry. From a distance the idea of imperiled rainforests and faraway jungles seems so vague and out of reach that it’s easy for us to overlook the damage we do to them. As we feature One World Roasters’ Sumatra Mandheling this month, we also stop to consider the endangered animals that inhabit this remarkable part of the world and how we can help them.
In addition to being a fantastic setting for rich and complex coffees, the world’s sixth largest island is also one of the greatest biological melting pots in the world. Sumatra and Borneo are the only places in nature where tigers, elephants, rhinos, and orangutans coexist, and unfortunately all of four of these animals are greatly endangered in these habitats. Rapid deforestation in these regions has been driven over the last several decades by conversion of fertile animal habitats into Robusta coffee growing farms.
These are typically the kind of low quality beans used in grocery store blends or instant coffees. Adding insult to injury, these less than stellar beans are frequently grown illegally on highly endangered Sumatran tiger, elephant, and rhino territories.
As coffee consumers and vendors we have the power to make a difference for these animals. Through informed purchasing habits and vigilance we can help protect these remarkable creatures and help them live better, less impacted lives:
• Look for Sumatras and other coffees from brands that offer maximum transparency as to where and how their beans were grown. Were they grown legally? Were they harvested on protected animal territories? Were their farmers paid a fair wage? These are important considerations and ways situations like Nestle’s recent debacle can be avoided.
• “Adopt a Tiger” and other endangered animals – Organizations like the World Wildlife Federation offer many
different support options that allow people around the world to make life just a little better for endangered animals in places like Sumatra, Borneo, and other threatened habitats.
• Support causes like the Orangutan Coffee Project that help to rehabilitate these endangered animals while also creating new, sustainable jobs for people living in Sumatra.
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One World Roasters
967 North High St,
East Haven CT 06512