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by Miles Small

Doi Chaang

Categories: 2012, FebruaryTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Admit­tedly, Thailand seems an unlikely place to not only dis­cover ara­bica cof­fees of extra­or­di­nary qual­ity but also to dis­cover the gen­e­sis of a real­is­ti­cally sus­tain­able self-supporting cof­fee community.

A few years ago, no one in the spe­cialty cof­fee world had heard of Thai grown cof­fees, and still today, there is lit­tle aware­ness for cof­fee from this region. The asso­ci­a­tion in buy­ers’ minds between Thailand and Vietnam, as well as all of Indonesia is strong and abid­ing. The flood­ing of low qual­ity Vietnamese Robustas into the mar­ket in 1999–2000, and ongo­ing issues of cor­rup­tion, sup­ply incon­sis­tency, and fair trad­ing prac­tices in Indonesia have tainted the market’s perceptions.

And yet, in a pocket of what was once the infa­mous Golden Triangle of Thailand, an indige­nous peo­ple, the Akha Hill Tribes have, for the last 20 years, been lift­ing them­selves up from gen­er­a­tional des­ti­tu­tion through the cul­ti­va­tion of coffee.

The vil­lage of Doi Chang was, at one time, the cen­ter of the opium pro­duc­tion trade in Thailand. Opium, which requires slash and burn agri­cul­ture meth­ods, had destroyed the native jun­gle, brought death and des­o­la­tion through addic­tion and enslave­ment, and even­tu­ally caused com­plete eco­nomic dev­as­ta­tion. By the time the cul­ti­va­tion of opium pop­pies was made ille­gal and erad­i­cated in Thailand, the cul­ture of opium was so per­va­sive that the indige­nous hill tribes were left with ruined soil, eco­nomic col­lapse, and aban­don­ment by their government.

The cul­ture of racism that defines the rela­tion­ship of the hill tribes to the urban and gov­ern­men­tal cen­ters of Thailand descended upon the Golden Triangle and the Akha peo­ple. It was not until the Princess Srinagarindra, the mother of HRH King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand with­drew from pub­lic life in Bangkok and retired to Chiang Rai, the north­ern­most province of Thailand that offi­cial gov­ern­ment notice of the plight of the Akha Hill Tribes began to be understood.

Because opium was an eco­nomic crop, and not a core ele­ment of hill-tribe cul­ture, her work to change the eco­nomic equa­tion through crop sub­sti­tu­tion was more eas­ily imple­mented. Coffee was a nat­ural replace­ment for a cash crop but because of envi­ron­men­tal dam­ages, iso­la­tion, and the crush­ing need for sub­sis­tence farm­ing, cof­fee did not effec­tively ‘take root.’

The evo­lu­tion of sustainability

To under­stand the chain of events that have lead to this vital cen­ter of com­mer­cial suc­cess in the Thai moun­tains, one must first try to under­stand the cast of key char­ac­ters who brought this together.

The term, “Golden Triangle” gen­er­ally refers to an area where the bor­ders of Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand con­verge and the point where the Sop Ruak trib­u­tary flows into the mighty Mekong River. Considered one of the world’s remain­ing wild places, the area remains largely inac­ces­si­ble. The name con­jures up allur­ing images of mist-shrouded moun­tains with forested slopes over­look­ing the mighty Mekong River, home of hill-tribe vil­lages. Its mys­ti­cal rep­u­ta­tion attracts hun­dreds and thou­sands of tourists, year after year, par­tic­u­larly adven­ture seekers.

The Golden Triangle, how­ever, has a darker side. It is one of the areas of the world where opium is grown, processed into heroin, and smug­gled out, and is the source of half the world’s ille­gal heroin.

As impov­er­ished hill farm­ers eek out a liv­ing from a rugged ter­rain through opium cul­ti­va­tion, mys­tery and dan­ger sur­rounds drug pro­duc­tion and traf­fick­ing, char­ac­ter­ized by the out­break of civil wars, clashes between the police and armed forces in a fight against smug­glers, sur­prise raids on clan­des­tine heroin fac­to­ries, and don­key car­a­vans along old jun­gle trade paths. The list reads like the stuff of mys­tery nov­els and action thrillers. Tragically, this is the stark real­ity of the drug trade.

First and fore­most is “Wicha” Promyong. A very hum­ble man who takes no credit for the work of Doi Chaang, nonethe­less with­out Wicha, so much would have been dif­fer­ent. Looking like an aging Asian hip­pie from San Francisco, Wicha is very well known through­out Southeast Asia and beyond. He lit­er­ally has spent most of his life walk­ing from vil­lage to vil­lage and coun­try to coun­try just to ‘see what he could see’ and in the process, this quiet, peace­ful, and wickedly intel­li­gent man gained the trust and admi­ra­tion of vil­lage lead­ers, com­mon ™peo­ple, and gov­ern­ment offi­cials. He still is called upon to travel to dis­tant vil­lages to help set­tle dis­putes. In dif­fer­ent times, he would be con­sid­ered an itin­er­ate saint. But in today’s world he makes his liv­ing sell­ing antiques and oper­at­ing 20 owned cafes and licens­ing an addi­tional 300 cafes through­out Thailand. So, it was nat­ural that the head­man of the vil­lage of Doi Chang came to Wicha for help lift­ing his vil­lage out of poverty through coffee.

At that moment, Wicha ded­i­cated all his energy toward per­fect­ing the cul­ti­va­tion and pro­cess­ing of cof­fee and increas­ing the wel­fare of the vil­lage of Doi Chang. Starting out with less than a hun­dred acres of land owned by the vil­lage, they now have 8000 acres with 3000 under cof­fee cultivation.

Wicha, who is an intense lover of plants had, as a key part of his plan the refor­esta­tion of the moun­tains. After the moun­tains had been clear-cut, there were no indige­nous plants remain­ing – the moun­tains were bar­ren. Raising trees in nurs­eries, all the cof­fee is now 100% shade grown under a dense canopy of trees hand planted by the farm­ers. Not only are there shade trees, but also alter­na­tive crop trees that bring addi­tional income to the farm­ers. Where once the jun­gle was gone, there now rises a high and thick canopy of lush forest.

Looking for a path­way for increas­ing his sales and price of the cof­fee, Wicha attended a cof­fee expo in Bangkok where he hap­pened to meet Pornprapa Bunmusik (Sandra). This pow­er­ful and inter­est­ing per­son in her own right hap­pened to have a friend that could have an idea or two. That per­son was John M Darch, a suc­cess­ful min­ing exec­u­tive from Canada. Together, they began to for­mu­late a plan to move for­ward with Doi Chaang Coffee.

The pil­lars of “Beyond Fair Trade®”

It prob­a­bly is unlikely that if a dif­fer­ent cast of char­ac­ters was assem­bled – younger or less finan­cially suc­cess­ful – the results would have been so spec­tac­u­lar. To pull this off, there needed to be peo­ple that were ready to give back, but only in a mean­ing­ful and sus­tain­able way. There were to be no hand­outs from this crowd.

In analy­sis, a key com­po­nent of the Doi Chaang devel­op­ment was John Darch’s life­time of expe­ri­ence as a min­ing exec­u­tive. If he had any expe­ri­ence in the cof­fee world, his meth­ods would have been very dif­fer­ent. In the min­ing world, investors know that huge invest­ments in equip­ment and infra­struc­ture must be made before any rev­enues are seen.

You may have noticed that Doi Chaang keeps get­ting spelled two dif­fer­ent ways – Doi Chang and Doi Chaang. The vil­lage in which the cof­fee com­pany, Doi Chaang resides is spelled Doi Chang. Both mean Elephant Mountain but because of old trade­mark restric­tions, the cof­fee com­pany added an “a.” Congratulations to those who caught it, and shame on you to those who did not. Your fifth grade English teacher is glar­ing at you.

When John first vis­ited Doi Chang vil­lage, the final 40 miles had to be trav­elled on mules over washed out tracks. There were no roads into the Doi Chang region mak­ing what he found there all the more remark­able. Under Wicha’s lead­er­ship, the vil­lage had built a mod­ern fully washed wet mill, dry mill, and con­crete patios. They had con­structed a ‘cof­fee acad­emy’ to train farm­ers in best prac­tices through a cur­ricu­lum design by a col­lege pro­fes­sor from Chang Rai and had installed a 120kg roaster. All of this was brought up that same trail using only mules and strong backs.

Through con­tin­u­ous rein­vest­ment of the money the vil­lage received for their cof­fee, sev­eral of the vil­lagers were able to attend uni­ver­sity, all receive health care, they feed all in the vil­lage who are hun­gry regard­less of what they do, and they pur­chase addi­tional land and equip­ment for coffee.

Darch saw imme­di­ately that Doi Chaang cof­fee required a rapid expan­sion of capac­ity and infra­struc­ture, espe­cially a road to con­nect the vil­lage with the world. And so was built the base of the idea of “Beyond Fair Trade®.”

Societal Capitalism and sustainability

The core of the idea of “Beyond Fair Trade®” is the firm belief in the power of Societal Capitalism. Darch formed a sec­ond com­pany in Canada, Doi Chaang Canada for the sole pur­pose of pur­chas­ing and sell­ing cof­fee from Doi Chaang Thailand. A price and quan­tity is struck between the two enti­ties. Doi Chaang Canada agrees to buy, for exam­ple, 75% of the crop for a price above the Fair Trade pre­mium. This pro­vides enough rev­enues to aggres­sively build out the facil­ity in Thailand and engage the social pro­grams nec­es­sary to sta­bi­lize the com­mu­nity. Canada then sells the cof­fee in green and roasted form at a pre­mium based on the Organic and Fair Trade cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, plus the “Beyond Fair Trade® premium.

The key ele­ment toward ensur­ing a long-term com­mer­cial rela­tion­ship between Thailand and Canada is that the vil­lage in Thailand also owns 50% of the Canadian company!

The results at Doi Chaang – the cof­fee com­pany – and Doi Chang – the vil­lage – are dramatic.

Because a great deal of money was now flow­ing into the vil­lage, Wicha rec­og­nized that the vil­lage had no expe­ri­ence at cash man­age­ment. He reg­u­larly brings a finan­cial expert to the Coffee Academy to edu­cate the farm­ers on sound finan­cial busi­ness prac­tices. Instead of buy­ing big screen TVs, every­one seems to own a new 4×4 pick-up. They found out that it is much eas­ier and faster to drive the freshly picked cher­ries to the vil­lage owned pro­cess­ing plant than to walk them down. The gov­ern­ment has built a two-lane heavy load high­way to the plant, and the entire vil­lage is elec­tri­fied. The farms all prac­tice water waste man­age­ment and are all cer­ti­fied organic. New cap­i­tal invest­ments have been made to add 25,000 kilo Penagos semi-washed pro­cess­ing mills. The vil­lage is using their Fair Trade pre­mium to pur­chase advanced med­ical equip­ment for the local “hos­pi­tal” and as a result, the Thai gov­ern­ment has agreed to fully staff the facil­ity with doc­tors (prior to this it was only staffed with nurse practitioners).

Doi Chaang Coffee grows pre­mium cof­fee on farms all above 1200 meters that is processed in a state of the art plant owned by the grow­ers of the vil­lage. They have expanded into organic honey from their own hives and are con­struct­ing a facil­ity to pro­duce organic cof­fee and honey based soaps, lotions, and cosmetics.

The next goal of Wicha and com­pany is to con­struct an acad­emy to ser­vice all the chil­dren in Doi Chang and the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity. Ground has bro­ken for a build­ing that will serve 450 stu­dents includ­ing dor­mi­to­ries for stu­dents who have no home. The Doi Chaang Foundation in Canada is work­ing hard to raise the funds for this new ben­e­fit to the community.

Wild Civets of Doi Chaang

One of the pre­mier prod­ucts of Doi Chaang is Wild Civet Coffee. I will spare us all from the jokes regard­ing these unique lit­tle “wet mill” proces­sors except to say that the civets at Doi Chaang seem to do an espe­cially fine job of it. I sus­pect that there is a “Garbage in-Garbage out” ele­ment to it. These civets are din­ing on some of the best cof­fee in the world.

What makes the civets at Doi Chaang espe­cially unique how­ever is that they are com­pletely wild. Unlike some of their brethren, these lit­tle noc­tur­nal guys have free range of the cof­fee farms once the sun goes down. You do not really under­stand the dis­tinc­tion of “wild” until you try to sleep in a hut in the mid­dle of a cof­fee plan­ta­tion while out­doors, the trees are alive with fully caf­feinated wild ani­mals that look to be a cross between a cat and a rac­coon. Civet cof­fee has become so valu­able that wild civets are rare. They typ­i­cally are caged and fed cof­fee their entire lives. In truth, this prob­a­bly is just fine with the civets since their entire life plan seems to be eat­ing, and then poo’ing cof­fee. But it just feels bet­ter know­ing that the civets at Doi Chaang are eat­ing what­ever cof­fee they choose and then return­ing to their dens and fam­i­lies at the end of a long night of work. Doi Chaang’s civet cof­fee con­sis­tently earns scores in the 90’s and has been picked up by some of the finest spe­cialty retail­ers in the world.

Sometimes life really is strange.

Retailer Profile: From Thailand with Love

Categories: 2012, FebruaryTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

We have done café pro­files all over the U.S., and sev­eral in Peru and Russia. This month we are con­tin­u­ing our inter­na­tional explo­ration with the best in Thailand – get ready for Doichaang Coffee Shops to blow your mind away fel­low cof­fee freaks!

I had restau­rants and hotels, but I sold them all to go up to the moun­tains and work with cof­fee farm­ers 12 years ago,” – replied Wicha Promyong, the Doi Chaang Coffee Co.’s pres­i­dent, when I asked him how he got into the cof­fee business.

It seems like suc­cess inevitably fol­lows the foot­steps of a tal­ented busi­ness­man: Wicha sold every­thing to seek a quiet refuge in the Thai moun­tains, but 12 years later found him­self run­ning one the best cof­fee com­pa­nies in the coun­try. Wicha’s Doi Chaang now owns 20 cof­fee shops in Thailand, sup­plies cof­fee to 300 oth­ers, and his cof­fee con­sis­tently ranks among the top in the world.

Let’s talk to the man:

V. Many cafes in U.S. like to announce them­selves as being green and organic as soon as they receive the first deliv­ery of biodegrad­able cof­fee cups, but you guys are really tak­ing it all the way. Look at this jun­gle that you have built here: water­fall, gar­den with plants all over, and lots of organic prod­ucts for sale. This is a beau­ti­ful shop! What is its his­tory?
W. Thank you (smiles). Well, this is our very first shop that got opened 9 years ago. I opened it so that peo­ple could try our cof­fee and know how it tastes; how­ever, I have never pre­dicted such rapid growth and pop­u­lar­ity. A per­son would come in, try our cof­fee and tell 5 oth­ers – it is magic what word of mouth can do. As far as the design in this par­tic­u­lar shop I have used a tra­di­tional Thai style of build­ing that brings the nature inside and makes the atmos­phere really peaceful.

V. Could you tell our read­ers a bit about cof­fee cul­ture in Thailand – how did it progress over time?
W. In the old days in Thailand, peo­ple mostly drank instant cof­fee with con­densed milk. Then Starbucks came along and intro­duced the cul­ture of drink­ing fresh cof­fee, so now the major­ity of con­sumers turned to fresh brew. They know how to drink cof­fee, and instant cof­fee con­sump­tion has got­ten lower and lower espe­cially in the last 3 years.

V. How did you man­age to acquire enough exper­tise and knowl­edge to open up and oper­ate one of the best cof­fee shop chains in Thailand?
W. Simple. I just went around the world, looked at the way good shops were oper­ated, and drank cof­fee here and there slowly learn­ing day by day.

V. You have trav­eled the world exten­sively, what makes Doi Chaang cof­fee shops unique among oth­ers?
W. I think the biggest “unique” fac­tor for us is that 100% of the cof­fee in our cof­fee shops comes from our own plan­ta­tion in Doi Chang province. We sell only what we grow and process at the plan­ta­tion. However, because of that we have a lit­tle prob­lem now: our cof­fees are being sold really well, but the demand has got­ten too high. From Malaysia to Australia peo­ple are com­ing to us, but we don’t have cof­fee to sell because we sell only what we produce.

V. How is your com­pany plan­ning on resolv­ing this sit­u­a­tion?
W. We have expanded by 8000 acres in the Doi Chaang area, but we have to wait for another 3 years for the plants to suf­fi­ciently grow. In the future, we will be able to pro­duce about 2000 tons a year, so it’s just a mat­ter of time.

V. You have men­tioned that Starbucks con­tributed to cof­fee cul­ture progress in Thailand, but do you see more and more peo­ple choos­ing Doi Chaang cof­fee shops over Starbucks in Thailand?
W. You know yes, inde­pen­dent cof­fee shops are becom­ing much more pop­u­lar in Thailand, espe­cially with locals. They try our cof­fee once and always come back again. Maybe around 8 per­cent of our cus­tomers are for­eign­ers: the major­ity is still walk­ing the floors of Starbucks.

V. Wicha I think what you have man­aged to cre­ate with Doi Chaang Coffee Company is absolutely genius! What is the secret behind it?
W. I think the secret behind it all is – happy farm­ers. We pay them $1 per kilo of cher­ries! It used to be 12 to 15 cents per kilo before, and now it is $1. Plus our farm­ers col­lec­tively own 50% of the com­pany, so they receive part of the company’s prof­its in addi­tion to their sales. This is the way cof­fee busi­ness should be – not just one man mak­ing all the money – farm­ers should make good money too because they are the ones who produce.

V. Having done so much for the com­pany and the farm­ers, what is the biggest reward for you to be part of all this?
W. Maybe I am get­ting old, but I don’t need money any­more. The money that I make I use to build schools and hos­pi­tals. In this stage of my life, I am con­cerned about help­ing oth­ers to achieve their goals, and trav­el­ing the world to demon­strate that our model can be applied to any place around the world.

Doi Chaang Coffee Company

www.doichaangcoffee.com
Wicha Promyong
t: (+66) 86 071‑7403
miga@doichaangcoffee.com

Going Green: Tips and Tricks That Can Make a Difference

Categories: 2011, NovemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Over the past few years, research and facts regard­ing the effects of global warm­ing have become a con­cern; var­i­ous stud­ies have emerged that sup­port the neg­a­tive effect of green­house gases on the envi­ron­ment. Individuals, as well as cor­po­ra­tions, have cho­sen to sup­port, pro­mote, and fight for the reduc­tion of man’s impact on the envi­ron­ment. Eventually, the nat­ural resources we depend on will become scarce; and cli­mate change could affect the very com­mod­ity we base our busi­ness on: Coffee.

In an indus­try as large as cof­fee, there is a lot of waste. For this rea­son, it is impor­tant to rec­og­nize the role that busi­nesses play in lead­ing the way for social change. A busi­ness adopt­ing the green ini­tia­tive will affect it’s cus­tomers actions on a daily basis, because they will be “going green” along­side. As a cof­fee shop owner, you have the abil­ity to reduce the car­bon foot­print of hun­dreds of indi­vid­u­als (at least in one aspect of their daily lives); which in con­se­quence will save trees, dimin­ish the amount of harm­ful gases emis­sions, decrease waste, and reduce the growth of land­fills. Even if you are skep­ti­cal about the “Greenhouse effect” and it’s impact on cli­mate change, invest­ing in mak­ing your prac­tices more sus­tain­able can sub­stan­tially cut down oper­at­ing costs for any busi­ness. Simple actions like turn­ing off lights or appli­ances when they are not being used can make a dif­fer­ence. As a busi­ness, you have the power to gen­er­ate change; but it all com­mences with some­one that is will­ing to take ini­tia­tive. So here are tips & tricks that can make your café more sus­tain­able and reduce your car­bon footprint:

Tip # 1 – Encourage cus­tomers to bring their own mugs to your café every morn­ing.
Encouraging cus­tomers to bring their own mugs to the café every morn­ing is one thing. Getting them to actu­ally adopt the habit is another. When your cus­tomer finds the per­fect design to fit her per­son­al­ity, she’ll bring it in every day. We call it: “The Art of Hydration™.”The way that our prod­ucts improve sus­tain­abil­ity above alter­na­tives is very sim­ple; peo­ple find a piece of their per­son­al­ity in the design they choose for them­selves. That alone makes it easy to remem­ber to take it with them in the morn­ing.
Submitted by Erez Toker, Owner of OneVessel by Vessel Drinkware, 
www.vesseldrinkware.com

Tip # 2 – Use and pro­mote reusable fil­ters for Keurig brew­ers.
By offer­ing alter­na­tive devices, like the Ekobrew, to heav­ily used and eco­log­i­cally dam­ag­ing prod­ucts, the cof­fee retailer can gain new cus­tomers and have access to oth­er­wise untapped rev­enue streams. The Ekobrew is a reusable fil­ter that works in almost all of the Keurig brew­ers. Not only can the cus­tomer now use their own favorite cof­fee in their Keurig machine, they can save sig­nif­i­cant money over the cost of K-Cups. Over 5 bil­lion K-Cups will be sold, used and thrown away in the next cal­en­dar year. The Ekobrew can be used hun­dreds of times and every time it is used, one less non-biodegradable, plastic-and-foil K-Cup goes in our land­fills.
Submitted by Ron DeMiglio, President, Eko Brands, LLC. www.ekobrew.com

Tip # 3 – Market your brand with single-serve pods.
Soft paper pods are the green solu­tion to sin­gle cup brew­ing, and are more envi­ron­men­tally friendly than throw­ing a plas­tic K-cup into the land­fills every time you brew a cup of cof­fee. Spent pods from brew­ing cups of cof­fee are com­postable. Simply break the soft paper pods apart and spread them around your gar­dens and flowerbeds.
Submitted by Tom Martin, Executive Vice President /COO of Pod Pack International, LTD. www.podpack.com

Tip # 4 – Start using eco-friendly pack­ag­ing for your roasted cof­fee.
With many Organic, Fair Trade cof­fee brands look­ing for the right solu­tions, ours is the only one rec­om­mended by the Environmental Biology Department of the University of Milan, Italy. It is Omnidegradable, in that it will com­post in a back­yard, and Biodegrade in any land­fill, river, lake or ocean. 5 years of test­ing at Case Western University showed it will not harm plants, insects or soil. It leaves behind, Water, CO2, and a small amount of Organic Biomass; all ben­e­fi­cial to plant growth. It is the only Bio Film that will not break down on the store shelves or cus­tomers homes.

Submitted by Robert Pocius, President of TekPak Solutions,
www.tekpaksolutions.com

Also…

At PBi, we under­stand the chal­lenge with pack­ag­ing has been offer­ing a true sus­tain­able option that offers a bar­rier pro­tec­tion. Our Biotre film and stock Biotre side gus­set bags will do just that. Made from 60% wood pulp that will biode­grade in about 90 days and the other 40%, by weight, is made up of a treated plas­tic that will biode­grade within 4–5 years, sig­nif­i­cantly less than stan­dard plas­tics and bar­rier bags. Additionally, tins and com­postable paper tin-tie bags make great reusable options for retail stores and often many retailers/roasters will offer a dis­count to cus­tomers for reusing the packaging.

Submitted by Kelle Vandenberg, Director of Marketing, PBi. www.pacificbag.com

Tip # 5 – Offer a com­postable cof­fee cup to serve your next cup of cof­fee.
Compostable cof­fee cups per­form the same way a con­ven­tional cof­fee cup does but with out any of the draw­backs. Compostable cof­fee cups elim­i­nate the use of any petro­leum based mate­ri­als that are not sus­tain­able, and in some instances can take up to 100 years to com­pletely break down. Conventional cof­fee cups are non– recy­clable, mean­ing they end up in our land­fills, parks, and oceans. With Americans con­sum­ing over 20 bil­lion cof­fee cups, can you imag­ine the impact that could make if cafés would switch to com­postable cups that will fully break down in less than a year? Leave the old in the past, com­posta­bles are the future.
Submitted by Alonso Ortega, Sales Manager at Pacific Green Products, 
www.PacificGreenProducts.com

Also…

When we did our study for Carbon Trust cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, we found that despite what would seem to be a com­mon sense answer to avoid­ing sin­gle use table­ware, like using a ceramic mug and rewash­ing it, the car­bon foot­print of the mug was much higher in terms of car­bon emis­sions. Once you cal­cu­late in how much energy is being con­sumed to first make the ceramic or steel mug at the fac­tory, which is a very large amount; then the repeated wash­ing with the req­ui­site energy for water pump­ing, heat­ing the water, clean­ing the water; and the man­u­fac­tur­ing of the soaps and the trans­port of them; the car­bon emis­sions for a 100% pct biobased or bioresin com­postable hot cup was much, much lower. It even sur­prised us.
Submitted by Buzz Chandler, President of Asean Corporation (Stalkmarket, Planet+ and Jaya brands), www.stalkmarketproducts.com

Tip # 6– Don’t set­tle with only the cup – offer a com­postable lid to go with it!
Ask your­self, does it make sense to serve your cus­tomer a com­postable hot bev­er­age cup topped with a poly­styrene lid? Avoid the petro­leum alto­gether! Biodegradable Food Service offers an attrac­tive kraft cup lined with a bio-based inner coat­ing, capped with an equally attrac­tive bam­boo fiber lid, all of which com­prises a 100% com­postable drink pack­age. We call it the Earth Cup.
Submitted by Kevin Duffy, CEO of Biodegradable Food Service, LLC, www.Earth-To-Go.com

Tip # 7 – Reduce power con­sump­tion and save money with a Green Line espresso machine.
Let’s face it, we all know you’re sup­posed to leave your espresso machine turned on, but what about your power bill? The first born of our Green Line, Plus 4 You, dra­mat­i­cally reduces power con­sump­tion with its standby and night­time shut­down modes. The self-learning soft­ware can opti­mize the energy sav­ings by pow­er­ing down part of the machine dur­ing slow peri­ods as well. Compared to a tra­di­tional espresso machine, the Plus 4 You grants energy sav­ings from 30% to 47.6%.
Submitted by Courtney Baber, Sales & Marketing, Astoria/General Espresso Equipment, www.usa.astoria.com

Tip # 8 – Create your menus, gift cards, brochures, sig­nage, and busi­ness cards out of recy­cled mate­r­ial.
As a highly vis­i­ble and tac­tile prod­uct, Kona Paper offers many easy and sim­ple ways for cafés to cre­ate more mean­ing­ful mes­sages about the envi­ron­ment that really res­onate with cus­tomers. Since the paper is made out of recy­cled cof­fee bean bag fiber, the mere men­tion of Kona Paper’s “story” as a tagline on a menu, table tent, gift card/gift card­holder or bag vis­i­bly demon­strates your café’s com­mit­ment to going green. More impor­tantly, using Kona Paper pos­i­tively repur­poses a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the cof­fee industry’s waste stream in a fresh, new way.
Submitted by Greg Johnson,Sales & Marketing Vice President of Kona Paper, 
www.konapaper.com

Tip # 9 – Acquire the ade­quate ice­maker to reduce util­ity con­sump­tion.
Use Chewblet® ice­mak­ers to reduce util­ity con­sump­tion. In addi­tion to pro­vid­ing consumer-preferred ice, Chewblet ice­mak­ers will con­sume up to 25% less elec­tric­ity and up to 40% less water com­pared to tra­di­tional cube-type ice­mak­ers, depend­ing on the size of the machine. Upgrading, old inef­fi­cient ice­mak­ers to cur­rent stan­dards is usu­ally a good choice from a util­ity con­sump­tion per­spec­tive.
Submitted by Mike Rice, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Follett Corporation, 
www.follettice.com

Tip # 10 – Seek to make part­ner­ships with pro­duc­ers and pur­chase green cof­fee from farms that sup­port sus­tain­able prac­tices.
A green cup of cof­fee starts with the grower. Supporting farms that pro­mote green agri­cul­tural prac­tices, and pay­ing farm­ers a bet­ter price for their cof­fee will not only have a ben­e­fi­cial effect on the envi­ron­ment, but on com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies as well. The Doi Chaang Coffee Company has a unique part­ner­ship between the Akha hill­side tribe of Doi Chang Village, located in the Chiang Rai Province of Northern Thailand, and a small Canadian group of cof­fee enthu­si­asts. The Thai farm­ing fam­ily co-operative cul­ti­vate and process 100% Arabica, organic, single-origin cof­fee beans while the Canadian experts roast, mar­ket and dis­trib­ute the cof­fee.
The cof­fee is cul­ti­vated in small fam­ily gar­dens with every­one com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture and hav­ing min­i­mal impact on the nat­ural habi­tat. Doi Chaang Coffee is labeled “Going Beyond Fair Trade” because the farm­ers are paid in excess of the price rec­om­mended by the Fair Trade Organization for their green beans. In addi­tion, the Thai farm­ers have a 50% reg­is­tered own­er­ship in the Canadian com­pany, Doi Chaang Coffee Company, which is funded 100% by the Canadian Group.
Submitted by John M. Darch, President and CEO of Doi Chaang Coffee Company, www.doichaangcoffee.com

Taking the nec­es­sary steps to “go green” will have pos­i­tive effects not only on the envi­ron­ment, but on your prof­its as well. Inform your cus­tomers about your efforts on going green; you might be sur­prised by the pos­i­tive response you get from the pub­lic. While this should not be your pri­mary moti­va­tion on sup­port­ing the mat­ter, it can be a ben­e­fi­cial side effect. People are always look­ing to sup­port a cause, and going green is one that is widely rec­og­nized. By offer­ing eco-friendly prod­ucts and show­ing con­sumers your efforts, you will strengthen your cus­tomer loy­alty and enlarge your clien­tele. Furthermore, engage your employ­ees in you efforts to go green. Ask them for ways you can reduce waste, use resources more effi­ciently, and save money. Every com­pany should con­stantly strive to improve not only their busi­ness prac­tices but their com­mu­nity and envi­ron­ment as well. Make a dif­fer­ence, one green cup at a time.