The Secret Life of Bees

By Nikki Seibert Kelley for the Bee Cause Project

“In the end, we only conserve what we love, we only love what we understand, and we understand only what we are taught.”

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Under the dabbled light of a subtropical forest, the sweet smell from coffee flowers entices one of java’s smallest customers: the honeybee.

Honeybees are attracted to coffee flowers for their sugary, high-quality nectar. According to recent studies, visits from pollinators have been shown to increase coffee yields by as much as 50%.

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The Next Step in Sustainability Standards

By Verónica Perez, 4C Association

HN producer meeting 2 March2014

Last year over 149 million bags of coffee were consumed around the world. The love for this black beverage keeps growing in new markets, with more and more people enjoying coffee in their daily lives.

But as much as they love their cup, an increasing number of consumers also have concerns about the conditions in which farmers produce their beans. Even those less conscious would be upset to find out that protected areas are being deforested to grow coffee, or that pesticides used in production could be putting the health of farmers and workers at risk.

Companies are under increasing pressure to supply coffee that has been produced in accordance to sustainability criteria. But this is not always easy. Continue reading

Changing the Lives of Women in Coffee

“Coffee is one of the world’s most highly traded commodities. Women undertake approximately 70% of the field work but typically own only 15% of the land, processing facilities and traded product,” says Desiree Logsdon, president of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA).

“In other words, women do the work but have little access to money to feed, clothe and support their families.”

When women acquire the tools to grow better coffee, negotiate prices, or even build their own coffee mill, they typically reinvest 90% of their income in their families and community. This cycle of positive change can transform entire villages, and creates a more sustainable future for our industry.

The following infographic shows how the the IWCA is changing the lives of women in coffee.