The Ecotropics group definition of a sustainable farm or sustainable farming in sensu Jeff Sachs, is transforming coffee and cocoa production agroecosystems in order to avoid near future resource scarcity, the latter a term used to market coffee. The definition of coffee sustainability, however, is merely ecological economics. Sustainable coffee is a bean grown in a manner that is kind to the environment and its people.
Sustainable Coffees: Paving the way towards Sustainable Coffee FarmingA sustainable farm gives back as much to the land and people as it receives. It seeks independence from non-renewable resources, using renewable energy, establishing shade with native-productive trees, minimizing agrochemicals, managing water sharply, getting certified, and roasting its own coffee and cacao when possible. Sustainable farming also minimizes pollution, takes steps to care for the environment, and cares for its employees.
A sustainable farm will reuse coffee husks as heating fuel rather than cutting down native trees. It will plant new trees for those used during heating, or it will implement pollution free coffee dryers such as the solar coffee dryer or coffee husks technology developed by our partners.
Sustainable farming implements practices to minimize water consumption and to clean the water used. Water from the fermentation tanks should never be returned to rivers or lakes, but rather used to fill biodigestors or be filtered with The Ecotropics group water engineering and then used for coffee irrigation. Our coffee and cocoa fieldwork station such as Ecological Industrial Complex in Tolima Colombia is an eco hub for harvest, process technology, careful selection and roast for perfect coffees with energy and water efficiency technologies. This cuts down on energy bills and water waste while allowing them to consistently provide some of Colombia's best product.
A sustainable farm will replace the overuse of chemical nutrients by spreading ecologically-friendly fertilizers and organic matter (composted coffee pulp) under the coffee shrubs and between the coffee trees. This type of fertilization has been found to increase yields over time and to produce a more uniform and natural mineral content in the ground.
Sustainable farms will also engage in practices such as shade growing, biodiversification, organic farming, and conservation agriculture. In addition to seeking renewable energy resources, we promote education programs, provide CSR actions, and add value to a coffee gourmet product.
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