April 22 is Earth Day and this year is the 52nd anniversary of the first Earth Day. April has become a month for us to reflect on what we can do to protect our precious planet by bringing a sustainable, restorative, even regenerative mindset to how we live, how we play, and how we work.
We understand that sustainability is not a destination – it’s a practice, a mindset. We think about sustainability as a three-part equation encompassing Social, Environmental, and Economic Development (SEED). Each of these parts is inextricably intertwined with the other two. This is the foundation of the practice.
At Public Domain, we source coffees to share with you from around the world with extraordinary flavor profiles that are also ethically sourced. Ethically sourced for us means sourcing our coffee from growers who are treated well, respect the environment, and support coffee-growing communities.
Through Project D.I.R.E.C.T. we establish Direct Trade relationships with growers to help improve the standard of living for the producers we work with around the world. The initiatives and programs we support are helping to foster a more sustainable, equitable environment for producers to thrive in. Here are a few examples.
- We’re helping address food insecurity with the establishment of food gardens with support from local experts.
- We established a program to help finance pulp pits where coffee pulp can be composted and used in food gardens as well as plantain farms and coffee nurseries.
- Through a multi stakeholder project with the local municipality of Salgar, the National Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), Coffee Growers’ Cooperative of Salgar, and the Project D.I.R.E.C.T. program from Farmer Brothers, we pulled together resources to plant 20,221 trees of 13 different native species on 87 different farms, spanning 5 different villages.
- We’ve helped establish a total of 67 Hectares of intercropped coffee plots. Intercropping coffee plants with high-value timber tree species and fruit trees with high market potential like bananas and citrus has benefits in the short, medium and long term. Not only does it raise a family’s income, it also positively impacts the environment, increasing the resilience capacity of coffee cultivation in the face of risk factors due to climate change.
- Through the premiums we pay for coffee, the producers have been able to build 90 solar driers servicing 27% of the cooperative members. Other premiums received like the Fair Trade social premium fund an organic soil fertilizer program that uses every single “waste” stream (including grounds and water from the cupping lab), 2 community nurseries designed to produce up to 300,000 seedlings, and 2 “bio-huertos” (food gardens) where producers can grow healthy, organic food have been established.
So much progress has been made and yet there is still so far to go. And this is why we understand sustainability as a practice not a destination.
Each time you purchase a Project D.I.R.E.C.T. coffee, you are contributing directly to the welfare and sustainability of our coffee growers and their communities.