Many cafés and coffee shops are buying from farms in other countries. As a customer, you know that your beans might come from Columbia, Mexico, or El Salvador. You might not know the story behind the farms that produce the wonderful beans you enjoy.
Coffee sellers are starting to dig deep into life on the farm. They’re learning the history behind the beans. Sometimes, they are starting their own farms to produce the best beans possible.
Specialty coffee isn’t like mass produced coffee you’ll find in big stores. It’s knowing the process behind the growing itself and following the chain from the farm to your cup.
Rogers Family Coffee is a company run by the Rogers family. Makes sense, right? The family grows their own beans on farms in Panama and Mexico. They have plans to purchase more coffee farms in the future, too.
The Rogers Family established their company in 1979 when they wanted to find the best Arabica beans around for their roasts. It’s truly a family business with Jon, Jim, Lisa, Barbara, John, Pete, Suzanne, and Kirsten.
Every family member involved with the company wants their extended family members – the customers – to have an incredible cup of coffee. They want to provide a premium bean in a sustainable way at a great price.
San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee & Organic Coffee Inc.
The company has whole bean as well as ground coffee that you can purchase on their website. Whether it’s decaffeinated, organic, or flavored, there’s a coffee for everyone.
They have Jamaican Blue Coffee beans, Certified Kona Premium, or Kona Mamalahoa Maestro to name a few. These beans are all available on their website. You don’t have to be a local customer to enjoy the beans.
Shade Grown Coffee
There are two ways to grow coffee beans. First, there is clear cutting, which removes all the native trees in an area to make room for coffee trees. It’s disruptive to the natural environment.
The second way is called Shade Grown Coffee. The coffee trees are planted in spaces of the forest where they are shaded by other trees. This leaves the natural forest intact to avoid clear cutting. It’s a practice that leaves the environment in better shape. Animals and birds are not displaced, and the beans are better.
The company believes in using Shade Grown methods to produce beans. Their first farm was purchased in Panama. The landscape had been ravished by grazing cattle, but they brought it back using worm composting. They planted over 80,000 trees for their first harvest years later.
On that property, they reforested what had been lost by the cattle’s arrival. It actually helped to reinvigorate a small spring for a nearby village, too. This farm became known as Finca Santa Barbara. It was proof to the family that they could indeed reforest and grow shade coffee while helping the environment.
What is Fairly Traded Coffee?
Fairly Traded Coffee is the process of employing workers or buying from farmers at a fair price. It’s meant to alleviate poverty in countries that produce coffee. While some farms are part of the Fair Trade initiative, others are not interested in being part of a cooperative.
Rogers Family Coffee believes in Fairly Traded Coffee, but doesn’t believe in forcing farms to be part of a cooperative. Farmers who don’t want to be part of a cooperative shouldn’t be forced. And the certificate doesn’t always prove compliance or that the farm is hiring local workers.
The company pays more than the minimum for coffee beans. They import directly from the farmers as opposed to the coffee commodities market. The company has started a Community Aid Program that helps impoverished areas.
Community Aid Program
We love hearing about how bean growers and coffee shop owners are also part of a drive to help the communities where they buy beans. It’s hard to enjoy a cup of coffee every day while wondering about the life of the farmer and his family.
The Community Aid Program spends approximately 1 million per year on improving the environment with organic shade farms and improving the water supply. They work towards improving the life of the farm worker and his or her family, too.
When it comes to coffee bean farms, it’s important that they are acting in a responsible manner. It shouldn’t be all about getting the best beans for the lowest prices possible.
While a business should want to sustain itself, it should not do so at the expense of workers or the environment. That’s a huge point in favor of the Rogers Family Coffee and its farms.