As part of our commitment to sustainability and ethical trading for Groundhouse, Atalian Servest’s signature coffee brand, we spent the afternoon with Beneficio San Marco, one of our Honduran coffee growers.
The event, hosted by Bewley’s Coffee Ltd, featured some delicious coffee tasting and presentations from Delmy Regalado, General Manager at Beneficio San Marco and Sales and Marketing lead for COCAFELOL (Cooperativa Cafetalera La Labor Ocotepeque Limitada).
Growing coffee runs in Delmy Regalado’s family history and she has been instrumental in shaping an ethical and sustainable coffee industry in Honduras. Delmy’s achievements include supporting and developing the fair trade and organic cooperatives COCAFELOL and AMPROCAL (an organisation run entirely by female entrepreneurs). Delmy’s passion for Honduran coffee was highlighted in her moving presentation and it emphasised the importance of operating sustainably managed plantations and equal opportunities for women in the coffee industry. Atalian Servest is proud to be supporting these initiatives.
The global demand for coffee is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% (2019-2024). Whilst coffee production in Honduras is increasing, the challenges facing coffee farmers are also growing. This is largely due to climate change creating unpredictable farming conditions and increasing the burden of diseases such as hemileia vastatrix, a fungal disease commonly known as coffee leaf rust (CLR). This creates rising plantation costs, making farming less profitable and less attractive to future generations.
Sustainable and ethical cooperatives like COCAFELOL and AMPROCAL support farmers with financial and marketing assistance and ensure a fair market price for their hard work. Profits from the fair market mean they have the resources available to adapt to the challenges of climate change and unexpected crop loss.
Other initiatives the plantations have put into place to improve sustainability and production include carbon offsetting during coffee production using Integrated Open Canopy (IOC) cultivation. With a significant loss of forest and potential loss of biodiversity from sun-grown coffee farming, the IOC system maintains native forest without sacrificing yields by focussing on small 1-3 hectares with varying shade, surrounded by the equivalent amount of forest. IOC cultivation maintains the natural habitat for species, resulting in increased biodiversity and enhanced hydrological conditions. This also presents an increase in yields (typically 200%) and pollination, with a decrease in infectious diseases and labour. Initiatives such as IOC would struggle without the initial support of sustainable cooperatives and the fair-trade of coffee in the international market.
Overall the afternoon with our Honduran coffee partners was an educational and stimulating event that highlighted the importance of sustainable sourcing, further strengthening our commitment to our corporate sustainability strategy for our signature coffee brand, Groundhouse.
Groundhouse will continue to offer customers high quality and sustainably sourced slow roasted coffee. We are grateful to Bewley’s for facilitating the talk and taste event, and to Delmy Regalado for her wonderful presentation on Honduran coffee cultivation.
Time for a cappuccino!