Top 5 Indicators of Sustainable Coffee
Coffee is grown in over 60 tropical countries, with most of it still produced on small family farms, but adding up to tens of millions of acres. Coffee growing supports 25 to 100 million people around the world. In the last decade, a huge worldwide surge in demand for coffee has had two profound consequences. It caused a rapid worldwide expansion in production, largely of cheap beans that flooded the market and contributed to plummeting prices. And in the rush to increase production, it caused a shift from traditional, sustainable coffee growing methods (with coffee plants grown in the shade of diverse native trees) to intense monocultures that require large inputs of fertilizer and pesticides which bring about a loss in biodiversity and quickly deplete the land.