What’s in that cup?
Not to be a buzzkill, but your preferred mode of caffeination can have an impact on everything from farmer’s livelihoods to the rate of worldwide deforestation. Here’s and eye-opener to help you choose what to brew.
People: Some 25 million farmers cultivate coffee; many of them live on less then $1 a day
FAIR TRADE: Coffee growers must follow strict labor standards and are guaranteed a minimun price and connected directly with importers - no middlemen are involved.
Planet: Deforestation, loss of biodiversity waste, and pollution are all potential eco-issues.
USDA ORGANIC: The crops must be grown without profibited chemical pesticides and using crop-rotation practices to precent erosion and the loss of soil nutrients.
BIRD FRIENDLY: This seal encourages shade-grown production methods (no clear-cutting) and the conservation of migratory birds. Producers must also be cerified organic.
UTZ: one of the world's largest sustainability certifications for cofee, cocoa, and tea, the Amsterdam-based program also trains growers in eco-farming methods.
BOTH: To ensure that both bases are covered, look for the green frog seal.
RAINFOREST ALLIANCE: Farmers are taught efficient, sustainable practices that improve the quality of the beans, thereby endowing them with more bargaining power with buyers.