What are coffee cooperatives and why do we love them?

Coffee is a beloved beverage enjoyed by millions of people around the world. In fact, it is one of the most consumed beverages globally, with an estimated 2.25 billion cups consumed every day. But while we may love our daily cup of coffee, we often overlook the importance of the coffee farmers who make it all possible. Buying coffee from cooperatives is one way to support these farmers and their communities, while also ensuring that you are getting high-quality coffee.

Colombia is a significant producer of coffee, and the country’s coffee industry is essential to its economy. According to the International Coffee Organization, coffee exports make up about 20% of Colombia’s agricultural exports and 2% of its total exports. However, many coffee farmers in Colombia face significant challenges, including low prices, lack of access to resources and technology, and climate change.

One way to support Colombian coffee farmers is to buy coffee from cooperatives. Cooperatives are organizations formed by farmers who work together to improve their livelihoods by pooling resources, sharing knowledge and skills, and negotiating better prices for their products. By buying coffee from cooperatives, consumers can help ensure that farmers receive fair prices for their coffee, which can help them invest in their farms and communities.

Colombian coffee farmer packing beans into a sack for export.

Additionally, many cooperatives are committed to sustainable farming practices. These practices aim to protect the environment, preserve biodiversity, and promote social and economic sustainability. For example, many cooperatives use shade-grown coffee, which involves growing coffee under a canopy of trees. This method can help reduce the need for pesticides and fertilisers, improve soil health, and provide habitats for wildlife. Many cooperatives also invest in social programs, such as education and healthcare initiatives, to support their communities.

Buying coffee from Colombian cooperatives not only supports farmers and their communities but also ensures that you are getting high-quality coffee. Colombian coffee is known for its rich flavour and aroma, which is the result of a combination of factors, including the country’s unique geography, climate, and farming practices. Many Colombian cooperatives produce specialty coffee, which is coffee that has been graded and evaluated based on its unique characteristics, such as flavour, aroma, and acidity. Specialty coffee is often more expensive than regular coffee, but it is worth the investment for coffee lovers who want to experience the full range of flavours and aromas that coffee has to offer. If you’re one of these, then check out our range of specialty coffee.

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Here at Kogarashi, we work closely with importers to ensure we buy coffee from sustainable, fairly-priced coffee cooperatives, ensuring the money we spend on green coffee goes as far as possible to help the people who actually grow it. If you would like to try roasting your own green beans that have come directly from a coffee cooperative, you can buy green coffee online on our shop.

In conclusion, buying coffee from Colombian cooperatives is important for several reasons. It supports farmers and their communities, promotes sustainable farming practices, and ensures that you are getting high-quality coffee. So the next time you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, consider buying coffee from a Colombian cooperative and supporting the people who make it all possible.