Cafe Solar® is Climate Change Coffee
This coffee shines a light on the environmental destruction resulting from coffee production by offering an alternative solution.
Innovation in Green Coffee Production
The use of clean, renewable energy in coffee processing is one innovation of the Cafe Solar program; a truly restorative farming method is another. We’ve essentially reversed the effects of conventional coffee supply chains so that instead of causing deforestation and carbon emissions, the production of this coffee actually contributes to natural forest regeneration and sequesters carbon.
Three Sustainable Features
- Solar-Powered Coffee Processing
Instead of using wood-burning dryers to process the coffee (which are “the norm” in coffee-processing across Latin America) Cafe Solar uses a completely off-grid dryer (the first of its kind, in fact) powered by renewable solar energy. This means that no trees are cut down to fuel the dryer and zero emissions are released into the atmosphere during processing.
- Restorative Farming
The coffee trees themselves are grown in a way that encourages the protection and restoration of the natural forests surrounding the coffee farms. To stop coffee production from encroaching on these natural forests, Integrated Open Canopy (the official name for the farming method) places forest buffer zones between the protected forests and the coffee farms. The buffer zones are left to grow wild, and as their natural forest is restored they link up with nearby forests creating corridors that support migratory birds and other keystone species. These forests and their rich biodiversity are essential to the region’s ecosystem and their existence is crucial to keeping our global climate in check. Cafe Solar is also grown organically, which replenishes rather than pollutes soil, air and water. This coffee also employs organic composting for fertilizer production, making use of valuable coffee by-products that often go to waste.
- Managed By Women
The Fair Trade certified Cafe Solar cooperative of small-holder coffee farmers in Honduras is managed by women.
Cafe Solar Stands Out from Other Eco-Friendly Coffees
It’s the product of a completely independent, transparent and simplified supply chain made up of a small group of people who genuinely care and are trying to match actions to words.
We Merchants work directly with the women-managed cooperative in Honduras, and the Mesoamerican Development Institute (non-profit org. that supplies the solar-powered technology and technical training), to develop and ensure the sustainability of this coffee’s supply chain. In this way, we also act as a direct link from the end-consumer to the grower.
Through this coffee we’re also engaged in official forest management, working together with the Honduran Forestry Services to map out and link up the reforested buffer zones to create what’s being dubbed as the “Yoro Biological Corridor”; a fully protected nature reserve that stores carbon (and collects credits), provides clean drinking water for people in the region as well as critical habitat for threatened animal species.
As the world’s second most traded commodity next to oil, coffee’s impact on climate change is enormous. Roughly 3 sq.cm of forest is destroyed for every cup of coffee we consume and it’s time for that to change. Every morning we’re faced with choices and Cafe Solar is a means of taking action.
Join us by drinking this exceptional Honduran coffee! If you’re in Canada, you can get Cafe Solar coffee (fresh-roasted and green beans) from our cafe and at the St. Lawrence Market South Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning until 1pm.