Sustainability Initiatives

Coffee is the world’s most important agricultural crop in terms of trade volumes; it is exported by over 60 countries and is grown predominantly by smallholder farmers. The livelihoods of these growers are affected by their environmental and social situations.

At Barrie House we strongly believe in long term responsibility to coffee quality and elevating the debate around the economics of coffee farming. So much of this debate in recent years has focused on coffee prices rather than on net farm income.   The protection of environments biodiversity is a critical portion in the future of quality coffee and can be achieved through the promotion of sustainable agricultural best practices in ecosystem conservation, wildlife protection and water conservation. This helps farmers find the right balance in managing water, soil and biodiversity while increasing productivity and coffee quality. Beyond preserving ecosystems there must be also initiatives that seek to restore biodiversity such as planting trees near water sources or providing funding through micro loans and treating residual water in central mills.

Barrie House believes in programs that maximize environmental, economic and social values and should not focus solely on price. Any meaningful certification programs must address the 3 major keys of sustainability:

Economic sustainability—farm income, risk exposure, market access, farm management, producer organization, farmer perception.

Social sustainability—occupational health & safety, working hours & wages, basic human rights, community relations & well-being, farmer perception.

Environmental sustainability—resource use, pollution, soil quality, recycling, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, farmer perception.

Worldwide coffee consumers are showing increased interest in the economic, social and environmental aspects of coffee production. As a result, coffee covered by the various certifications is estimated to represent 8-9% of world exports of green coffee and is the fastest growing market segment in traditional markets.

See the care Barrie House takes in sourcing its green coffee and the important part fair trade organic coffee plays in the company.