Approaching Sustainability

Back to Overview Published: 12/01/17 Duration: 5 min read


Approaching Sustainability

This season, we have collectively launched eight different coffees, with many taking origin in Brazil and Columbia. One of the driving factors of the Barn is to serve memorable tasting coffees that are also sustainable and transparent in their sourcing. We seek to work with producers and importers that also share this passion for sustainability right down to the soil they plant their trees in. We are proud to work with farms and collectives such as Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (short ‘FAF’) and Fazenda Um located just outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil and AMACA, a women’s farmers organisation that was created in Cauca, Columbia, by Café Imports. These farms not only seek to produce coffee in a way that highly benefits the resulting cup but also supports and raises up the environmental, social and economic standards around them.

Sowing the seed of sustainability to the individual.

It’s the second time THE BARN is working with FAF; meeting, sharing ideas and roasting their coffee and the coffee of their partners. On their website, they state ‘our mission is to be a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable farm - a model that sows the seeds of sustainability to the individual, to the family, to the business community and to society as a whole.’ FAF, a family business since the 1850s, drives to produce not just sustainable coffees but crops of the highest quality. The farm began its road to ‘sowing’ when Marcos and Silvia took over the family estate in Brazil in 2001 and changed the dynamics so that it was more inclusive and benefitting of all those worked there. Along with their son Felipe, they have grown this project to research scientific backgrounds, educate other local farmers and those interested in the coffee business, while also creating a network of exporting around the world with businesses and roasteries that share the same sustainability ideas as they do.

How natural processing supports a sustainable surrounding

Fazenda Um is one such farm that FAF has partnered with, which is located just outside of Sao Paulo in the Mantiqueira de Minas region of Brazil. This is the second time that we are roasting their coffee and we hope to work more closely with them in the future. The farm, run by a father, Stefano and two sons, produces three different types of arabica coffee: Red Mundo Novo, Yellow Bourbon and Red Catuai. This year, we are roasting a natural processed Mundo Novo, which exhibits flavours of fresh dates and milk chocolate. It is incredibly creamy in mouthfeel and is complimented well as an espresso with milk. The natural process of the coffee helps to give it a bigger body yet still maintains its clean finish. Like all our coffee, as it rests it only gets better and more flavoursome.

Supporting the women of AMACA by paying high premiums.

Cafe Imports is one of our greatest partners for remarkable coffees. Since they were founded in 1993 by Andrew Miller they go for a new holistic sourcing strategy and look especially out on top-quality but also on Educational Initiatives and support many Sustainability Projects. With our connection through the company, we are proud of to have had the opportunity to get in touch with the Women of AMACA  (Asociación de Mujeres Productoras Agropecuarias del Cauca). This project which drives to make sure everyone of its project members can sustain themselves while learning and educating. A group of women producers located in El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia that was formed in 1999 by 80 women from El Tambo, in Colombia’s Cauca department.’ The project’s main objective is to educate and help woman farmers, currently a group of over 140 smallholders and growing, to produce fantastic coffee while also sustaining themselves and the land around them. By paying premium prices we make sure to keep lifting up women farmers for years to come. The AMACA project coffee that we are serving this year is from a one-woman managed farm called Finca Los Anayes. We choose this coffee on the cupping table because of its predominant flavours of juicy mango, smooth almonds and a delicious mixture of tropical fruits. It is balanced and naturally sweet, especially as a black coffee. These coffees from AMACA stand out because of the dedication and hard work that the farmers put in during their harvest time. They are highly educated in how to process and dry, with many even processing on their own farms.

How we will support sustainable farming in the future.

Every year, we discover and connect with more farmers and projects that have a goal in promoting sustainability and awareness in creating a transparent system. We return to many of the farmers that we have worked with in the past showing you where your coffee comes from, who grows it, who ships it and how we roast it. It is important to us at THE BARN to keep this goal going as it sustains the soil and health of the trees, the ecology and wildlife around the estate and the quality of life for the farmers and all those who depend on the farm. Adopting knowledge and producing premium coffee is the only way to break out of the commodity coffee market. We pay premiums above the market price to support farming projects with bigger future goals. It maintains the passion of the farmers. The drive for sustainability keeps farms thriving instead of being overused, where the soil is parched up of all its nutrients and in turn becoming fruitless in the future. It helps to keep the natural habitats around the farms flourishing, instead of being cleared to grow more coffee. Farmers plant native shade trees and protect the land around the plots, and in turn sustain the land for future years. With sustainability becoming a focal point along the whole coffee chain, we are cultivating an industry and a coffee culture for the future.