[Caption: Ecological responsibility is essential to preserving our coffeelands]
At Dean’s Beans, respect and caring for the environment is hardwired into our brains. We have been 100% certified organic since day one. We have worked in many countries assisting farmers to obtain and maintain organic certification, which brings a price premium in the market as well as protecting and enhancing soil, water, worker health and critical migratory bird habitat. Climate change is a real and immediate threat to coffee, with some experts estimating that coffee could be extinct as we know it in 2080. (More on climate change and its impact on coffee here.)
We are working with our cooperative partners in Mexico and Nicaragua on effective roya (rust bacteria) mitigation strategies and training's. Our water buffalo eco-management program in Sumatra has made organic fertilizer (guess how!) and weed control financially affordable for many farmers. In Peru, we have created an innovative and successful reforestation program that is regenerating indigenous woodlands for sustainable timber, food and medicine harvesting in the future (the farmers call it their “social security”). Our interns have made wonderful contributions to our ecological work, creating recycling programs and monitoring land use. Our first Javatrekker SocialXChange program in January of 2014 successfully brought together organic farmers from the north and south to share experiences.
[Caption: Rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall enable the spread of coffee leaf rust (roya), which has been decimating crops in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.]
[Caption: Our reforestation efforts in Peru help create Carbon-Neutral Coffee.]
[Caption: Climate change is not in doubt in Kenya, where massive droughts have decimated some coffee areas.]
In April of 2020, we launched new compostable packaging for our one pound coffee bags. The beautifully designed bags can be tossed into home compost, or sent to large scale composting facilities (just remove the tin tie, of course). The outer layer and valve are fully compostable, and the inner barrier is made of PLA that can be plucked out of home compost when you turn it. Our goal for 2021 is to have bags where the inner liner is compostable as well - we're just waiting for final trials and roll out from the manufacturing company! Our five pound bags are also fully compostable once the tin tie is removed.