June 25, 2020
In our modern-day, it should come as no surprise that coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. With over 450 million cups consumed daily in the US and 400 billion cups consumed worldwide every year, we feel it is safe to say that coffee isn’t going anywhere!
But where is all this coffee coming from? The answer is simple; it all starts with the farmers!
The history of coffee farming dates back almost 500 years and has evolved quite a bit over time. Today we wanted to give you a glimpse into the industry and explain the three most typical types of coffee farming; organic, high production, and small family-owned.
To be considered organic, these types of farms must adhere to strict rules of production that involve the non-use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals. There are many benefits of organic farming but the most important to note include healthier farmlands and more fertile crops which increase the coffee’s quality and quantity. Coffee grown on organic farms is considered healthier but comes with a higher price point.
The next category for examination are high production farms. These account for 20% of coffee producers globally and operate as highly commercialized facilities. These farms will mass-produce a low-grade of Arabica coffee that generally costs less per bean. The harvesting process is highly mechanized and automated which allows the beans to be collected quickly and efficiently to meet scale. This coffee is commodity-grade and you can find it on nearly any supermarket shelf such as Folgers or Dunkin Donuts.
The final type of coffee growers are the small family-owned farms, which account for 80% of the world’s coffee. Many of these farms have been passed down through generations and have been producing great coffee for hundreds of years. The harvesting is done by hand, with pickers selecting the ripe beans off of each tree. Small farmers generally take the time to make sure that they are adhering to best practices throughout the farming process, which results in fantastic quality. Nearly 25 million people worldwide rely on coffee farming for their livelihoods and we believe that we should do our part in supporting them!
Why Sustainable Coffee Farming Matters
Sustainable coffee practices are an integral part of the longevity of small family-owned coffee farms. With sustainable agriculture comes the ability to produce a higher quality bean and increase crop levels. The other side of sustainability can be met by purchasing fair-trade coffee; as it assures you that the farmers are receiving fair value for their coffee, while maintaining fair labor and production efforts.
At Ruci, we firmly believe in supporting family-owned sustainable farms when we select our green beans for roasting. By doing this, not only are we getting a higher quality of green bean; we feel satisfied knowing that we are helping support the livelihood of real people doing what they can to provide the best life for their families. When you are looking to buy coffee beans for your daily consumption, we recommend you take a look into the farming methods your brand chooses and help support sustainable coffee!