Ethics are becoming increasingly important in western society as we gain a better understanding of how our coffees are made. This is rightfully so, and enables establishments such as The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company to examine sustainability among all of our source producers and distributors.
Rainforest Alliance is one such organisation farms and estates that have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance must adhere to a number of sustainable principles; the fair treatment of all workers, the minimisation of soil erosion, and the conservation of surrounding landmass, including maintaining wildlife and water resources.
This is just to name a few. As a further incentive, many of these farmers and farm workers receive fair pay, as well as access to schools and healthcare. All of our Rainforest Alliance coffees are bought from farms that are 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified. This includes our Brazilian Rainforest Alliance Coffee, our Guatemalan Rainforest Alliance Coffee, our El Salvador Rainforest Alliance Coffee, and finally our Rainforest Alliance Espresso Roast Coffee.
With the greatly popular Guatemalan Rainforest Alliance Coffee, in particular, it is important to recognise that in 2012, the country was hit by an epidemic that nearly wiped out all of the coffee plants. The disease, known as ‘coffee rust’, rampaged through nearly 70% of all the crops. Vital assistance from the Rainforest Alliance, a number of other non-profit organisations, and the United States government, helped to get production up and running again by training farmers in how to treat rust and prevent outbreaks in the future.
Meanwhile, in Brazil - a country that accounts for a third of total global coffee production - Rainforest Alliance certification has ensured that coffee growers and producers are protected, while also providing an overall benefit to the land that surrounds these farms and estates. Alas. these are just two ways in which this incredible institute can put the ‘ethical’ back into ethical coffees.
We also stock a Nicaraguan Bird Friendly Coffee which, as the name suggests, has a ‘Bird Friendly’ Certification from the Smithsonian Institute. This delicious coffee is produced by the Procafe RL cooperative, which deals with about 90 smallholder farmers. All of these farms, situated in the northern department area of Madriz, next to the border with Honduras, are also organic. The Procafe RL cooperative itself, meanwhile, is a certified cooperative organisation which has partnered with Fair Trade since 1992. Similar to Rainforest Alliance, Procafe RL cooperative’s services also offer marketing and technical assistance to all their farms and estates.
A common misconception in recent years is that any coffee considered to be ‘expensive’ is likewise ethically sourced. This is not necessarily true in all cases. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we deeply care about how, and in what manner, we receive all of our coffee products. Our section below have been certified as ‘ethical’, but we will always strive for sustainability, no matter the coffee type. This means that, when you buy from us, you may rest assured that all possible and necessary precautions have been taken to determine that the ethical practices in place, all the way from plant to cup, meet our personal high standards.