TURNHOUT, Belgium – With world coffee prices falling again to below $1 per pound the mass abandonment of coffee farms across Central and South America is surely set to continue, but Puro, a Fairtrade brand from Belgian based coffee roaster Miko, is beginning to address this problem. In a mission to re-harmonise coffee farming with nature they co-created with local partners their first coffee farm in Santa Teresa, Honduras in 2017.
They started by reforesting with native trees for shade cover and planting diverse coffee species and then moved onto methods to attract birds to help naturally control pests and native stingless bees to boost coffee flower pollination. The farm also serves as a testbed to experiment with other techniques that can help mitigate the effect that global climate change is having on local coffee production.
Now in 2019, after financing the purchase and preservation of an area with pristine primary forest and an organic coffee farm, both destined to be destroyed, they have again with local partners created a unique and first of its kind initiative, something they have termed coffee farm takeover.
Present in more than 40 countries with the Puro brand, Miko has committed to select one client company each year from one of these countries, to be the custodian of this new Fairtrade Organic coffee farm. Locally appointed coffee farm manager, Suyapa, attends to the day to day running of the farm, sharing tasks and stories directly with the client company via photos and videos on Whatsapp. The company then joins her in Honduras in January to help with the harvest.
Naturally the company will be publishing this content on their social media channels and engaging local and national press through these stories. For Miko however, the real magic comes through passionately retelling first hand experiences directly to the people drinking Puro Origen, their new single origin coffee.
By integrating their client companies deeper within the coffee chain, Miko wants to begin to draw greater attention to the actual individuals who produce their coffee and the level of work required to grow, pick and process it. At the same time they are looking to highlight the current disparity between current world coffee prices and the minimum price set by Fairtrade, which ensures a living wage.
Happy Tosti of the Netherlands, with more than 7 locations across the country and their own remarkable story that looks to bring people typically hidden in the background to the forefront, has been chosen as the first client company to take part in this coffee farm takeover. They become custodians of the farm and a Fairtrade Organic cooperative member from October 2019 – June 2020.
Creator of this Puro Coffee initiative, Andy Orchard, shared the following:
“Social media was meant to bring us all closer together and yet it is increasingly showing itself to be divisive. Let’s use this beautiful union to share real stories for positive change within the coffee industry”
Jasper from Happi Tosti
“We create joyful paid jobs for people with labour limitations, bringing them out of home to front of house. It is wonderful to see that our social and environmental impact reaches across the world due to our collaboration with Puro Coffee. We wait with excitement to be able to serve coffee handpicked by us from our own farm across all Happy Tosti stores.”
More about Puro’s coffee farm takeover can be found at https://purocoffee.com/takeover