What is Arabica coffee?
There are two general categories of coffee: Coffea Arabica and Coffea robusta. Arabica beans are grown at higher altitudes and have less caffeine than robusta beans (the caffeine is a natural deterrent against insects and pests which are less prevalent at higher altitudes). Arabica trees grow less densely than robusta trees and in rougher and more remote terrain, which leads to the higher costs of harvesting Arabica beans. Arabica beans generally make a smoother and better-tasting cup of coffee, which is why the majority of the world’s harvested coffee beans are Arabica. However, out of all Arabica beans only 10% are good enough to be used in specialty coffee like Verena Street. The rest are from past years’ crops, have too many defects, or exhibit other unfavorable traits which affect their quality. These typically find their way into some of the cheaper coffees you might see touting “100% Arabica” beans.
Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Coffee
The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities. Farms that meet comprehensive standards for sustainability earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. These standards conserve biodiversity, ensure that soils, waterways and wildlife habitat is protected and that farm workers enjoy decent housing, access to medical care and schools for their children. Farms must commit to a process of continuous improvement and are audited each year in order to maintain their certification. By shopping for products bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, you are supporting a healthy environment and helping to improve the quality of life for farm families. To learn more about the Rainforest Alliance, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.
Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms meet comprehensive standards for sustainable agriculture that protect wildlands, waterways, wildlife habitat and the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities.
Rainforest Alliance certification prohibits farms from using forced labor or hiring anyone under the age of 15. Farm group administrators work to provide healthcare for workers and access to education for children. Workers are protected from excessive work hours, wage withholding and other exploitative practices.
Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms support safe and healthy conditions for smallholder farmers and their families.
Smallholder farmers who have earned the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal report that they are better organized and have more access to technical help and buyers for their crops.
Smallholder farmers who earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal farm more efficiently, reduce their costs and often earn a higher price for their cocoa/coffee/tea.
Smallholder farmers who earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal use fewer agrochemicals, which is not only better for the environment and their communities, but also saves them money.
Smallholder farmers who earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal protect waterways, soils and sensitive ecosystems, helping to maintain a clean water supply for their families and their surrounding communities.
Smallholder farmers have reported that wildlife have returned to their Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms.