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    How the UTZ program, now part of the Rainforest Alliance, empowers farmers to grow better crops

    How the UTZ program, now part of the Rainforest Alliance, empowers farmers to grow better crops

    Better methods = better crop

    Better farming methods are at the center of the UTZ program, now part of the Rainforest Alliance. When farmers and cooperatives join the program, they learn how to make efficient use of land, water, fertilizer and manpower. This includes things like understanding the best way to apply fertilizer and learning how to implement new irrigation techniques. Farmers also learn the right way to plant, maintain and harvest crops. This entails everything from planting shade trees and using sticky traps to capture pests to learning better plucking and pruning methods for optimal growth. Beyond planting and harvesting, farmers develop record-keeping and management plans as well as techniques for managing risks such as persistent drought or excessive rainfall. With these new skills under their belt, farmers are better equipped to produce bigger yields and healthier, higher quality crops at lower costs. This in turn can lead to higher incomes as they can get more money for their harvests. “We learned that without pruning, you won’t have a good yield,” Enoch Mensah, an UTZ certified cocoa farmer in Ghana, explains. “After you’ve applied the fertilizer, every part of the plant is functioning properly. If it develops new shoots and you don’t remove them, they’re going to consume much of the nutrients that you’ve already invested into the plant.” On top of this, the UTZ program helps farmers get better market access by helping them form strong relationships between farmers and buyers and ensuring they receive a variable premium on top of the market price for their crop.

    The Rainforest Alliance organization is constantly measuring the impact through studies carried out by independent researchers and third parties. By doing this, we can see the impact they are making in real numbers and through feedback from the farmers themselves. The UTZ coffee program in Colombia found that farmers’ greater adoption of good agricultural practices meant that, in spite of external factors affecting yields, their yields dropped by just 1% compared to a 52% drop by non-certified farmers. At the same time, by year four of the program the UTZ, now part of the Rainforest Alliance certified farmers’ net income per kilo was 65% higher than if they were not part of the program.

    Article Source:

    UTZ How the UTZ program empowers farmers to grow better crops - UTZ

    Café Series - Ovolo Hotel and Lona Misa

    Café Series - Ovolo Hotel and Lona Misa

    We are so excited to be the coffee partner for the Ovolo Hotel South Yarra and Lona Misa restaurant. We spoke to Jaqui Rosenstengel the Food & Beverage General Manager to learn more about how the new venue and how the brand aligns with St Remio.

    What can guests expect when they visit?

    A fun & unique dining experience, great service, fabulous vibes.

    Ovolo South Yarra blends past, present and future. The hotel is a place where retro chic and pop art collide. Taking its design cues from the days of disco, rock gods and retro glamour. The vibe is bold, creative, and unpredictable. All mods, zero cons: Ovolo South Yarra brings a fresh injection of energy into Melbourne’s -hottest cultural destination.

    Lona Misa is a rebellious renaissance from root to stem. Enter a timeless scene with Latin loved persuasions to revel amongst friends, to siesta, or simply sit and pass the time. By day stop by for a casual bite, coffee, or fresh juice in the café. By night stay for something a little more, a lively Latin bar and dining experience boasting a heavily vegan menu with vegetarian options.

    What made you choose St Remio Coffee?

    Great quality coffee & broad range of products. Ethically sourced coffee beans & a company that celebrates the people behind their great product.

    Is sustainability important to you?

    Yes. Sustainability helps us to improve the quality of our lives and the diversity of life in our ecosystem. We should practice sustainable living and encourage others to do the same as well. 

     What is your go-to coffee and how many do you drink a day?

    Long Black – about 3 a day 😊

    What is the restaurants signature dish(s)?

    I can recommend all dishes on the menu! But our most popular ones are definitely the 

    • Tamales Chicken Tomatillo
    • Roasted Pedron & Manchego Croquettes
    • Peri-Peri Cauliflower
    • Oyster Mushroom Ceviche

    What is your life motto or the best piece of advice you ever received?

    If you want to remember something, make sure you write it down!

     

    If you are in desperate need for a stay-cay, why not check out the new Ovolo Hotel South Yarra and Lona Misa. You won't be disappointed! 

    Ovolo Hotel South Yarra Website & Instagram

    Lona Misa Website & Instagram

    Why is certified coffee better for the environment?

    Why is certified coffee better for the environment?

    The UTZ program, now part of Rainforest Alliance, adopts a balanced approach to sustainability that takes into account the three pillars of people, planet and profit. Today we talk to Henriette Walz, Global Lead Deforestation, about the environmental pillar through the lens of our coffee program. She explains in concrete terms why sourcing sustainable coffee is better for the environment.

    Sustainable coffee helps farmers better manage wastewater

    Approximately two thirds of coffee beans are processed through a technique called the wet process. This process removes the coffee bean from the husk and pulp using large amounts of water. “The polluted wastewater then often flows back into nature, contaminating the surrounding environment and water people use to drink, wash and play in,” Henriette explains.

    Farmers are trained to implement better water management techniques to tackle the problems created through wet processing. These techniques include; keeping clean water separated from contaminated water, reducing water use through recycling water whenever possible during wet processing and by implementing a water treatment system to eliminate or reduce pollution caused by wastewater.

    Change in action

    The wastewater project in Central America is a prime example of how wastewater can be repurposed and put to good use. The project turned wastewater from coffee production into safe, renewable energy that local families could use to power their stoves or farm machinery.

    Marvin Mairena, a farmer and agronomist who was involved with the project, explained the dramatic changes they saw:

    “In the first year the system reduced the levels of [water] contamination by 81.3%. We used to use around 1,500 liters of water per 46 kilograms of pre-pulped coffee. Now we only use 250 liters.”

    Coffee farmer Jeremias Benitez Díaz from Honduras is also seeing the benefits of a sustainable approach. He explains why it’s so important to protect the environment and talks about the transformation he’s witnessed:

    Sustainable coffee helps farmers adapt to climate change

    Another issue facing coffee farmers is climate change. “Coffee needs very specific environmental conditions to thrive,” Henriette says. “As climate change becomes a growing concern, coffee production is increasingly being impacted by rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall, droughts and other environmental issues, like pests and diseases.”

    Farmers are trained to address these problems by learning methods that can help them adapt to climate change in addition to methods that can help them reduce their negative impact on the climate.

    Henriette: “Farmers can adopt good agricultural practices to better cope with the effects of climate change include things like planting shade trees, implementing efficient irrigation methods and covering the soil with compost to make it more resilient.”

    But the UTZ program, now part of Rainforest Alliance, doesn’t stop there. “It’s also vital that we help farmers make risk assessments for their own situation so they can be aware of the effects of climate change in their region and identify the specific measures they want to implement,” Henriette explains. “Showing farmers how to keep records of things like rainfall is one example of ways we can help them decide which measures to adopt.”

    By sourcing Rainforest Alliance certified coffee, St Remio is supporting the protection of the environment in and around coffee farms across the globe.

    Article Source: 

    UTZ Why is certified coffee better for the environment? - UTZ 

    Everything you need to know about coffee

    Everything you need to know about coffee

    Coffee is more than a drink. It’s a way of life that supports over 25 million smallholder farmers worldwide. In 2017/2018, there were an estimated 161.4 million 60 kg bags of coffee consumed (source: ICO, 2019), and coffee consumption is increasing approximately 2% globally per year since 2012. At this rate, coffee will continue to grow in influence and importance as a crop in the years to come. But, what do you really know about coffee? Let’s dive into the basics and take a look at the current state of sustainability in the coffee industry.

     

    The coffee belt

    The world’s biggest coffee producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia, producing 62 million, 29.5 million and 14 million bags of coffee per year, respectively (source: ICO, 2018). Coffee is grown in over 50 countries around the world that lie near the equator, roughly between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. These countries have the warm climates and high levels of humidity needed to grow the coffee plant.

    Arabica vs. Robusta

    There are two main types of coffee beans cultivated for consumption: arabica and robusta. You may have heard the term ‘arabica’ thrown around at fancy coffee shops. It is generally considered the superior variety of coffee bean. It is grown at elevations of 600-2,200 meters above sea level and at temperatures of 15-30 ºC. This gives it a lower caffeine content, making for a less bitter and, what most people consider, a more pleasant taste. Robusta plants are grown at lower elevations of < 800 meters above sea level and at temperatures of 24-35 ºC. They can contain up to twice as much caffeine as Arabica and the taste of these beans is often described as stronger with a nutty flavor.

    From plant to cup

    Coffee beans are technically the seeds of the coffee plant, found in the coffee cherry. The cherries are harvested at different times around the world. Coffee plants are mostly grown on slopes. When these slopes are steeps, mechanized harvest becomes impossible. So instead, the cherries are hand-picked. Once picked, they are processed one of two ways; through a washed process or a dry process.

    A washed process removes the coffee bean from the husk or pulp using water and a special pulping machine. This requires large amounts of water and it is where water contamination can often occur in coffee production. The dry process method is when coffee cherries are allowed to dry in the sun. Once completely dried, the bean is removed from the cherry in a milling machine.

    Founded on coffee

    The UTZ certification program started as a coffee program, with the name UTZ Kapeh, meaning ‘good coffee’. The founders, Nick Bocklandt and Ward de Groote, wanted to create a program that recognized responsible farming practices all around the world and allowed people to know the exact origin of their coffee beans. They shared a common goal of making sustainability the norm in coffee production. Today, the UTZ coffee program, now part of the Rainforest Alliance, is still the largest certification program for coffee in the world.

     

    Sustainability concerns in coffee production

    We have come a long way in positively impacting the way coffee is produced and sourced, but there are still many sustainability concerns in the coffee industry.

    Climate Change
    Coffee, like any plant, is dependent on the environment. As climate change becomes a growing concern, coffee production is increasingly being impacted by rises in temperature, increased rainfall, more droughts and other environmental issues.
    Water management
    Also, in wet processing, extensive amounts of water are used to rinse the coffee cherries. The filthy waste water then often flows back into nature, contaminating the surrounding environment and water people use to drink, wash and play in.
    Social issues
    Another big concern in coffee production is workers’ rights. Coffee farming is hard work that often involves carrying heavy loads on steep slopes. The industry depends on seasonal workers who travel a long way from home and often stay in poor quality housing. Many workers receive low wages, have limited legal protection and no or limited access to pensions, paid holidays or insurance.

    What the UTZ program does

    UTZ is now part of the Rainforest Alliance. The two organizations joined forces in 2018 to create a better future for people and nature.

    These are issues we are working to change, through certification and beyond. UTZ farmers are trained in good agricultural practices like water recycling and purification. They know how to adapt to climate change and must provide good labor conditions for their workers. At the same time we work in partnership with all players – from farmers to companies, governments and NGOs – to address these widespread issues of the coffee industry, together.

    Do you agree that sustainable coffee is the way forward? Join the Rainforest Alliance today!

    Article source: 

    UTZ Everything you need to know about coffee - UTZ 

    Introducing our Organic Aluminium range – Because you deserve the best!

    Introducing our Organic Aluminium range – Because you deserve the best!

    One of the most innovative technologies to come through compatible capsules, has been the innovation in Aluminium. And we, at St Remio, are so excited to finally unveil our two new Aluminium blends!

    Introducing Traditional and Espresso – the 2 key staples every serious coffee drinker needs in their life all delivered in a premium, hermetically sealed, aluminium capsule, giving you the ultimate in fresh coffee. Choose from:

     

    Traditional – Strength 8

    St Remio TRADITIONAL features beautiful organic notes of almond and honey. This smooth and mild blend is perfect as an espresso or with milk.

    Espresso- Strength 12

    St Remio ESPRESSO is a signature style organic blend featuring robust notes of dark chocolate and hazelnut. Best enjoyed as an espresso or with milk.

     

    We have worked tirelessly on the blends to craft a range that suits both a mild coffee lover through to someone who enjoys a bold coffee. Sourcing sustainable, organic coffee, we ensure we are working with farmers to pay over and above prices for coffee to ensure they can invest in their land and their families. If we don’t protect our farmers, we are not protecting coffee for generations to come. Your support also allows us to fund additional projects to help enhance the coffee growing communities. To learn more about our projects click here so you understand just what impact your purchase is having at origin.

     

    Great coffee is one thing. Innovation is another. But making your coffee count, is what St Remio is all about.