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Tag Archive for: Sustainability Council

by Karen Cebreros

Erasing the Pornography of Poverty

Categories: 2012, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

ttilogo6There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world and that is an idea whose time has come.     
~Victor Hugo

The spe­cialty cof­fee indus­try is the global leader in sus­tain­abil­ity. At the SCAA in 2000, our keynote speaker, Paul Hawkin, author of The Ecology of Commerce stated he had con­sulted to over 500 cor­po­ra­tions world­wide and the indus­try that was far­thest along was spe­cialty cof­fee. Those words have never rung truer than today, but how then do we take our gen­er­ous work to the next level? This mis­sion even more pow­er­ful when we real­ize only 25% of Americans donate to good causes and 80% come from indi­vid­u­als not cor­po­ra­tions, gov­ern­ment or religion.

People today often quit their careers to become cor­po­rate refugees; start­ing non­prof­its with a goal of sav­ing the world. John Wood left Microsoft to start Room to Read 13 years ago, and now has a 60 mil­lion dol­lar annual bud­get to dis­trib­ute mil­lions of books to 11 Asian coun­tries. Excellent work, but most of us in our indus­try bal­ance our day jobs with our com­mu­nity service.

With so many fan­tas­tic non­prof­its in our indus­try, many of us want to sup­port all of them. Cup for Education is also send­ing out books, pay­ing for teach­ers and schools, Coffee Kids has been work­ing for decades in ori­gin coun­tries in the areas of heath, edu­ca­tion, and train­ing and focus­ing on what the local com­mu­nity wants and needs. Grounds for Health con­tin­ues to open up new coun­tries for their cer­vi­cal can­cer clin­ics, a dis­ease that August Burns declared will be gone in our life­time. Café Feminino has helped women diver­sify with com­mu­nity gar­dens and micro credit loans. Food 4 Farmers is work­ing on food secu­rity, Root Capital and Transfair, also 13 years old, are touch­ing the lives of mil­lions through fair wages, loans and lit­er­acy train­ing. Then we have the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, CQI, SMBC, Coffee Lifeline, Rainforest Alliance, START, and the numer­ous other orga­ni­za­tions work­ing as hard as pos­si­ble to lift farm­ers out of abject poverty.

New busi­ness mod­els for global sus­tain­abil­ity are grow­ing rapidly. The face of social respon­si­bil­ity is no longer big sad eyes and a bloated stom­ach. We no longer sell guilt or pull on heart­strings to raise up all stake­hold­ers in the chain from tree to cup. We believe every bean counts and now we believe every per­son counts and we view them with dig­nity and as equal part­ners. We will not let our part­ners starve.

A fast emerg­ing busi­ness model is now the “B” cor­po­ra­tion. This cor­po­rate struc­ture ben­e­fits all, not just share­hold­ers.  Think Paul Newman salad dress­ing. A fair mar­ket exchange dri­ves a cor­po­ra­tion and allows busi­nesses to pur­sue a “triple-bottom line”: prof­its and envi­ron­men­tal and social ben­e­fits. Excellent resources on why this is the future are Sustainable Harvest and Equator, both pio­neers in sus­tain­abil­ity, and B Corporations.

Partnering is an excel­lent solu­tion to max­i­miz­ing efforts. Mohamed Yunas won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for start­ing micro credit in Bangladesh. Starting as the lender to the poor­est of the poor, now there are 300 mil­lion small loans out with an aston­ish­ing 97% pay­back. One of his B Corp busi­ness part­ner­ships was made with Dannon Yogurt. Thousands of women received loans to open up yogurt stores. They paid back their loans, got on their feet, and increased the health of the com­mu­nity with the cus­tomized India style yogurt. And the ben­e­fits keep on giv­ing. Access to credit is a mon­u­men­tal strug­gle for women. Female cof­fee farm­ers own less than 1% of land at ori­gin. Micro credit is show­ing suc­cess with groups of women pay­ing back prin­ci­pal, inter­est, and sav­ings some­times at $1.00 per week. It works.

A devel­op­ing con­cept is com­ing from the National Coöperative Business Association in Washington D.C. Partners include organic women’s Guatemalan cof­fee co-ops, exporters, importers, roast­ers, dis­trib­u­tors, added-value arts and crafts, IWCA and North American Retailer Co-ops. Complex? Yes, but of tremen­dous value to all the small partners.

So,” asked Don Schoenholt, CEO of Gillies Coffee Company in Brooklyn, New York, “how do we engage the small and medium-sized busi­nesses that make up 80% of the SCAA? How do we reach past the CEOs, Vice Presidents of Corporate Responsibility, Marketing Departments and the one per­son who makes the dona­tion deci­sions?” We all know that the major­ity of cof­fee farm­ers live on less than $2.00 a day. I believe if given an easy plat­form, every­one would donate at least $1.00 per month and we would lift up every­one together. Whole Foods already asks all its employ­ees to donate $1.00 per month to micro credit if they chose.

While brain­storm­ing with Robert Fulmer of Royal Coffee in Emeryville, California, he came up with an idea for how small busi­nesses can par­tic­i­pate in the broader social good. Larger busi­ness could act as an aggre­ga­tor for Mom and Pops and medium-sized com­pa­nies like Signature, Equator, Bird Rock and Strong Tree, con­sol­i­dat­ing vol­un­teers and dona­tions into one space and help with their dis­tri­b­u­tion. Janet Aguilar of Thanksgiving Coffee sug­gested a mem­ber­ship type of vol­un­teer­ing and donat­ing, and the brain­storm­ing con­tin­ues… How do we lever­age every per­son, penny, and pound of cof­fee to ben­e­fit all? With all of our small and medium-sized busi­nesses, includ­ing every employee, work­ing together we can and will impact the social and envi­ron­men­tal issues on a grander scale. As Paul Katzeff said it is not just a cup but also a “just cup.”

We can shift our think­ing from the pornog­ra­phy of poverty to eras­ing poverty. Let’s chal­lenge our­selves to engage all of us and work together in a syn­er­gis­tic way that is effi­cient and that can be repli­cated instead of recre­at­ing the wheel, wast­ing energy and tal­ent. We can and will declare our­selves as one of the global lead­ers in the Sustainability of the Planet. Send in your ideas to the Sustainability Council.

12_12 28-BKaren is the Co-Founder of IWCA and Track the Impact; she has been 23 years in cof­fee as founder and pres­i­dent of Élan Organic Coffee.

The Green Guide

Categories: 2012, NovemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

So much talk every­where we look about “going green” these days, and for good rea­son. This year U.S. elec­tric­ity prices are esti­mated to aver­age 10.48 cents per kilowatt-hour, a 1.1 per­cent increase from 2011. And nat­ural gas is esti­mated to aver­age $9.21 per thou­sand cubic feet in 2012, a 2.2 per­cent increase over 2011. So, that’s incen­tive to reduce energy con­sump­tion in cof­fee shops even when you con­sider the bot­tom line alone. Thankfully, Energy Star esti­mates that by sim­ply focus­ing on energy use our cat­e­gory of busi­ness can expect a 10–15 per­cent sav­ings in util­ity costs. It is tough to dis­pute that energy con­ser­va­tion efforts make good busi­ness sense when approached from that tack.

But let’s look at it from another angle for a moment. We are close to our sup­ply chain in the cof­fee world – closer, per­haps, than in many other indus­tries. We know the places our cof­fee beans come from and, in many cases, the peo­ple whose lives depend on them. We work col­lec­tively as an indus­try toward a sense of con­nect­ed­ness and under­stand­ing of the impact of our deci­sions. I still remem­ber Paul Hawkin applaud­ing our lead­er­ship in respon­si­bil­ity in at the SCAA Expo in San Francisco already in 2001. We know, too – if we’re pay­ing atten­tion – that the part­ners we depend upon in coffee-producing ori­gins face increas­ingly chal­leng­ing cli­mate volatil­ity mak­ing each crop year an unpre­dictable adven­ture wrought with newly arrived plagues, too much or too lit­tle water, wind-damaged plant­i­ngs, etc. Pricing is impacted by these swings in cli­ma­to­log­i­cal pat­terns to be sure.

Whether or not you sub­scribe to the notion that the chang­ing cli­mate today is a result of human activ­ity is not impor­tant here. What is impor­tant is that we look at our own busi­ness behav­iors and find the ways that we can make an impact toward over­all reduc­tion of the energy we con­sume – the car­bon foot­print that we leave. Dare I say the con­tri­bu­tions we make to green­house gasses? To make sure that we are all on the same page (and feel­ing a sense of respon­si­bil­ity) that can hope­fully inspire us to act, I offer the fol­low­ing tid­bit: in mul­ti­ple life cycle analy­ses of cof­fee it has been stated that cafes con­sume more energy than any other part of the life cycle of cof­fee. More than grow­ing, pro­cess­ing, trans­port, or even roast­ing. That is because it takes heaps of energy to make water hot, air con­di­tion shops, and refrig­er­ate all the goods we want to keep from going bad in order to sell them. But mostly it is heat­ing water; whether that is done in a cof­fee shop or in your home.

So what do we do? The Barista Guild of America (BGA) approached the SCAA’s Sustainability Council dur­ing annual lead­er­ship meet­ings in 2011 with a very spe­cific chal­lenge: How can we guide café oper­a­tors to make sus­tain­able and more respon­si­ble choices in the ways they run their busi­nesses? When the lead­er­ship of BGA left the room, we on the coun­cil strug­gled for a bit try­ing to fig­ure out how on earth we could pos­si­bly deliver on such a seem­ingly over­whelm­ing request in a rea­son­able amount of time. But then we recalled the great work of Kirstin Henninger at the Green Café Network. Henninger part­ners with The Food Service Technology Center to help guide the prac­tices she rec­om­mends from a sci­en­tific angle. The Sustainability Council part­nered with Henninger and embarked on the year­long process of cre­at­ing the Green Guide, which is a com­po­nent of the Green Your Café cam­paign, launched by SCAA this year.

The Green Guide is a multi-module dig­i­tal tool meant to empower café oper­a­tors to ease into reduc­ing the neg­a­tive impact imparted by café oper­a­tions. In order to endorse this tool, as the SCAA, we worked dili­gently to ensure that none of the prac­tices encour­aged could have a neg­a­tive impact on qual­ity. The guide is com­pletely acces­si­ble (both in price, at about $25, and in action­able items); it is designed to empower oper­a­tors to do as much, or as lit­tle, as they want at the onset. Clear step-by-step guid­ance min­i­mizes con­fu­sion and, impor­tantly, a sense of being intim­i­dated by how much we can do. The first mod­ule focuses on energy. The next mod­ule will focus on water man­age­ment and future mod­ules will dis­cuss waste reduc­tion and recy­cling, pur­chas­ing strate­gies, off­sets, and reduc­tion of tox­ins and pol­lu­tion production.

And more comes with the Green Guide. With the pur­chase of the guide, SCAA mem­bers will receive a one year sub­scrip­tion to START. “START is a pow­er­ful online data­base that allows retail­ers to input data related to their busi­ness and dis­cover the impact of their efforts,” notes Sarah Beaubien from Farmer Brothers who serves on the Sustainability Council. She adds: “Providing acces­si­bil­ity to this report­ing tool is an impor­tant show of sup­port of the SCAA’s strate­gic vision to help incor­po­rate sus­tain­abil­ity into every­day behav­iors among its mem­bers.” From a pragmatist’s per­spec­tive, there can be no progress if it is not recorded and reported – encour­ag­ing peo­ple to uti­lize the energy mod­ule of START is a step in the right direc­tion of report­ing on our behav­iors as an indus­try. Once we start gath­er­ing data, our hope is that it will inspire more actions.

And while we do need to focus on our energy con­sump­tion, we need to look at the prod­ucts that are a part of our busi­nesses. Take single-use cups and plas­tic ware as an exam­ple. With many esti­mates buzzing around our indus­try telling us that as much as 90 per­cent of the busi­ness we do is for take away, we are gen­er­at­ing an enor­mous amount of trash. And shouldn’t it be “more respon­si­ble” trash if it can be? Technology for com­postable single-use drinkware has advanced sig­nif­i­cantly in recent years yield­ing impres­sive hot-beverage-holding per­for­mance and light­en­ing the load on our quickly dis­ap­pear­ing land­fill space.

While still an imper­fect solu­tion today*, remov­ing that layer of non-biodegradable plas­tic that has his­tor­i­cally lined hot cups is another great step in the right direc­tion. Now we just need to keep on track to buy more and more of these prod­ucts so that we can reduce the pric­ing pre­mi­ums that still exist in many cases today. Or, we could also sim­ply decide that expen­di­tures that bol­ster our respon­si­bil­ity are a planned upon part of our busi­ness mod­els and not look back. The future is now, you know, there is no sense wait­ing until we are told to do what we know we should do today. A sug­ges­tion: use the sav­ings result­ing from smarter energy use to help to pay for the pur­chase of more respon­si­ble prod­ucts for your business.

And some more good news to leave you with: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a new Green Guide of their own
www.ftc.gov/os/2012/10/greenguides.pdf insist­ing that “green” claims on prod­ucts be founded on real, ver­i­fi­able, and mea­sur­able data to avoid the “green­wash­ing” ram­pant as busi­nesses rec­og­nize how more respon­si­ble behav­ior increas­ingly res­onates with their cus­tomers. Good stuff for those who really want to make sure that their pur­chas­ing deci­sions are hav­ing a more pos­i­tive impact overall.

* Many com­posta­bles require com­mer­cial com­post­ing oper­a­tions to break down com­pletely which can be tough to find in some com­mu­ni­ties. Plus it is hard to get com­postable cup man­u­fac­tur­ers to guar­an­tee that the corn-based poly­mers that make their prod­ucts com­postable are not a result of GMO products.

Chad Trewick, senior direc­tor of cof­fee and tea, began his career with Caribou Coffee in 1993 as a barista. His charge today is to uphold qual­ity stan­dards while encour­ag­ing farm­ers to engage in Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to com­ply with Caribou’s com­mit­ment to 100%. He strives to strengthen the sup­ply chain through pri­or­i­tiz­ing mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion­ships at ori­gin. Chad trav­els in search of the world’s finest cof­fees, to sup­port key sup­ply rela­tion­ships, and to iden­tify where pos­i­tive impacts can be made. Chad serves on the SCAA’s Board of Directors and is liai­son to the Sustainability Council. He works to main­stream respon­si­ble prac­tices and is pas­sion­ate about cof­fee and sustainability—preserving the planet’s peo­ple and places for future generations.

What about the other 50 million? Achieving sustainability through Robusta

Categories: 2011, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

The mis­sion of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) is to improve the qual­ity of cof­fee and the lives of peo­ple who pro­duce it. You may notice that no lim­its are spec­i­fied in our mis­sion. While we often think of spe­cialty cof­fees, and almost always think of Arabica cof­fees in this con­text, here at CQI we are inter­ested in help­ing all cof­fee farm­ers suc­ceed. We have been able to build a suc­cess­ful pro­gram around Arabica cof­fee that has trans­formed the way actors in the sup­ply chain talk about qual­ity. To date, we have cer­ti­fied over 1,300 “Q” Graders who are dis­cussing qual­ity cof­fee in a more sys­tem­atic and sci­en­tific man­ner. The pro­gram has been used for var­i­ous pur­poses, but most impor­tantly, it has allowed more peo­ple at ori­gin to dis­cover, sep­a­rate and sell higher qual­ity cof­fee, and pro­vide insight into those lots that have the poten­tial for higher pre­mi­ums. With 50 mil­lion bags of Robusta pro­duced in 2010, and with mil­lions of farm­ers depen­dant on its suc­cess, we think it’s well worth a try.

When we started announc­ing the devel­op­ment of a new pro­gram for Robusta cof­fee, “R” Coffee, there was a lot of dis­be­lief, and even some anger. How could the Coffee Quality Institute be focused on a species of cof­fee that is asso­ci­ated with lower qual­ity and higher envi­ron­men­tal impact? How could we pos­si­bly turn to Robusta know­ing very well that there is not a space for it in the spe­cialty world? The answer is sim­ple – with the cur­rent shape of the mar­ket, and with numer­ous fac­tors affect­ing sup­ply, it is very likely that higher qual­ity Robusta could relieve some sup­ply short­ages for the spe­cialty mar­ket. Even though there are some notable fla­vor char­ac­ter­is­tics that dif­fer­en­ti­ate it from Arabica (some might say very notable), Fine Robusta cof­fee may even find a cozy home with con­sumers who appre­ci­ate lower acid­ity, or with roast­ers look­ing for a dif­fer­ent qual­ity cof­fee to com­ple­ment a blend.

In order to make Robusta palat­able for the spe­cialty drinker, a whole lot needs to be improved first. CQI has started to develop Fine Robusta stan­dards, much like those of Arabica, which will help build qual­ity aware­ness among Robusta pro­duc­ers and lead to a more sus­tain­able sup­ply of high qual­ity Robustas. The Robusta Program, now inte­grated with our Q Coffee System, has made some sig­nif­i­cant process in just over a year and a half. We have over 15 cer­ti­fied “R” Graders and will con­tinue to host Fine Robusta work­shops in Uganda, Brazil and Indonesia, with the hopes of expand­ing to Vietnam and India in the near future. Ted Lingle, exec­u­tive direc­tor of CQI, expands, “The suc­cess of the Fine Robusta Coffee Workshops can­not be over­stated. It clearly iden­ti­fied the poten­tial for huge growth in the mar­ket place for this cat­e­gory of cof­fee; growth based on qual­ity not price. The suc­cess also clearly iden­ti­fied the road­block to improved Robusta prices: DEFECTS. All of the cof­fees cupped dur­ing the Workshops had been cleaned and graded so that the defect counts were com­pa­ra­ble to those for spe­cialty Arabica grades, and con­se­quently the fla­vor improve­ments in the Robusta cof­fees were strik­ing. As a by-product of these work­shops, the cof­fee indus­try now has a set of train­ing mate­ri­als to use in a sys­tem­atic approach for qual­ity improve­ment in the Robusta cof­fee sup­ply chain.”

Tackling the qual­ity issues inher­ent in the har­vest­ing and pro­cess­ing of Robusta cof­fees is the very first step and then it is nec­es­sary for Fine Robusta stan­dards to become inte­grated into the sup­ply chain, just like SCAA’s Arabica stan­dards. Investments, part­ner­ships, and long-term strate­gies will be vital to cul­ti­vat­ing a steady sup­ply of Fine Robustas, and sev­eral orga­ni­za­tions have also started to focus on Robusta, includ­ing Catholic Relief Services, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). While the Fine Robusta stan­dards con­tinue to be adjusted and refined, and as we move for­ward with the intro­duc­tion of this pro­gram into Robusta-growing regions, we under­stand the chal­lenge and effort needed to make this suc­cess­ful for every­one. Once the indus­try is ready to embrace this lesser loved bean, Robusta will be there wait­ing with open arms.

Alexandra Katona-Carroll is the pro­grams man­ager for the Coffee Quality Institute. She is respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of CQI’s new data­base, along with mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions. She’s cur­rently a mem­ber of SCAA’s Sustainability Council and is flu­ent in Spanish.

Quality Coffee, Sustainable Futures

Categories: 2011, DecemberTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

More than 400 mil­lion cups of cof­fee are con­sumed each day in the United States (US), often with­out a thought to where or how the cof­fee was grown. In fact, the world’s cof­fee is pro­duced in the trop­ics by more than 25 mil­lion peo­ple, and most cof­fee farms are located in areas regarded as high pri­or­i­ties for conservation.

Agricultural expan­sion is respon­si­ble for 70 per­cent of global defor­esta­tion and is the sin­gle great­est threat to trop­i­cal forests. In these biodiversity-rich regions, poor farm­ing prac­tices can lead to soil ero­sion, water pol­lu­tion, and wildlife habi­tat destruc­tion. And many farm work­ers strug­gle to make a liv­ing and feed them­selves and their families.

The Rainforest Alliance has spent more than a decade work­ing toward a sus­tain­able sys­tem of cof­fee pro­duc­tion – one that sup­ports the rights and well-being of farm­ers, their lands, their liveli­hoods, their fam­i­lies, and communities.

At the Rainforest Alliance, we believe that one of the best ways to keep forests stand­ing is by ensur­ing that it is prof­itable for busi­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties to do so. That means help­ing cof­fee farm­ers real­ize greater eco­nomic ben­e­fits by ensur­ing ecosys­tems within and around their farms are pro­tected, and that their work­ers are well trained and enjoy safe con­di­tions, proper san­i­ta­tion, health care, and hous­ing. Once farms meet cer­tain envi­ron­men­tal and social stan­dards, we link them up to the global mar­ket­place where demand for third-party cer­ti­fied sus­tain­able cof­fee is on the rise.

The Rainforest Alliance is work­ing to bring cof­fee back into its nat­ural habi­tat, restore local ecosys­tems, and pro­tect wildlife habi­tat. We work with count­less part­ners on the ground, includ­ing other NGO’s, com­pa­nies, farmer train­ing insti­tu­tions, gov­ern­ments and indi­vid­u­als to pro­vide tech­ni­cal assis­tance and train­ing to farm­ers across the coffee-growing globe.

To achieve Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, farms must meet strict sus­tain­abil­ity stan­dards that pro­tect the envi­ron­ment and the rights and well-being of work­ers and their fam­i­lies. Certified farms con­serve bio­di­ver­sity, pre­vent defor­esta­tion, pro­tect water­ways, recy­cle waste, reduce agro­chem­i­cal use and pro­vide habi­tat for wildlife. In addi­tion, per­ma­nent and tem­po­rary work­ers oper­ate in safe con­di­tions and earn just wages for their work that com­ply with local and national laws. More than 43,500 cof­fee farms are Rainforest Alliance Certified™, mean­ing 899,399 acres of farm­land are sus­tain­ably managed.

Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion helps farm­ers bear the erratic swings in the global mar­ket by giv­ing them the keys to improved farm man­age­ment, lever­age when nego­ti­at­ing and access to pre­mium mar­kets. Through cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, farm­ers learn the impor­tance of pro­tect­ing their nat­ural resources and are given the finan­cial incen­tive to do so.

Consumer demand for envi­ron­men­tally and socially respon­si­ble goods is at an all time high. According to a 2010 study, 84 per­cent of con­sumers in the US have pur­chased sus­tain­able food or drink in the past month (source: Mintel, Sustainable Food and Drink) and another study in 2009 indi­cated that 54 per­cent of shop­pers in the US con­sider sus­tain­abil­ity to be one of their deci­sion mak­ing fac­tors and are “lean­ing green” (source: Grocery Manufacturers Association & Deloitte, Green Shopper Study).

To meet increas­ing con­sumer demand for sus­tain­ably pro­duced goods, more cof­fee com­pa­nies around the world are sourc­ing their beans from cer­ti­fied farms. In 2010, approx­i­mately 114,884 met­ric tons of cof­fee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms was sold, a 31 per­cent increase from 2009. We antic­i­pate sim­i­lar if not more growth by the end of this year for 2011.

Business as usual is no longer an option. To suc­ceed in the long-term, com­pa­nies are increas­ingly choos­ing sus­tain­able sourc­ing through Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion across a myr­iad of crops. Certification enables com­pa­nies to pro­vide mean­ing­ful and long-lasting impacts on the ground for farm­ers and the envi­ron­ment, get needed trace­abil­ity and trans­parency in the sup­ply chain and ensure inde­pen­dent, rig­or­ous audit­ing so that high achiev­ing farms can be truly rec­og­nized for their work.

Coffee lovers every­where can sup­port farm­ers who main­tain crit­i­cal forests and treat their work­ers with dig­nity sim­ply by choos­ing beans stamped with the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval. To learn more about how Rainforest Alliance cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ben­e­fits the lands, lives and liveli­hoods of cof­fee farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties across the globe, visit: SealYourCup.org.

Alex Morgan is the Senior Manager for North America for the Agriculture divi­sion at the Rainforest Alliance. He has worked for the orga­ni­za­tion for the last four years and has been engaged in the cof­fee indus­try for over nine years. Alex lives and works in Seattle and is cur­rently a mem­ber of the SCAA’s Sustainability Council.