In an era of dwindling crop diversity, coffee farmers are diversifying their coffee plantations.

Once there were tens or hundreds of breeds of every fruit and veggie you can think of. Today, when I go to the supermarket in the Netherlands I find only one version of broccoli, corn or carrot. Modern production has streamlined our choices. Nature depends upon diversity to thrive, and consumers miss out on all the flavours (sweet, delicate, floral, nutty) that nature designed.

Apples are a different story

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Union is partnered with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to conserve the Yayu Coffee Forest in Ethiopia, and invest in the region’s coffee cooperatives. Our Union Direct Trade initiative is enhancing smallholder livelihoods, preserving a unique wild coffee biosphere, and improving the farms’ coffee quality. We’re excited to build sustainable relationships which motivate farmers to grow excellent coffee, and you get to enjoy a delicious, responsibly sourced cup full of exotic coffee flavours.

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bee project update

Late last year I was excited to tell you about our new bee project in Guatemala aimed at improving the livelihoods of some of the farmers we work with there. This is a quick update on how the project is progressing.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Rosemary Trent, director of Pueblo a Pueblo at the Specialty Coffee Conference of America (SCAA) back in 2014. She is one of those amazing women in coffee; kind, bright and dedicated to making a positive change to the lives of farmers. That’s why it’s so exciting to be working with her on a new project we’re supporting in Guatemala.

It’s all about bees. Yes, those buzzing “pests” we once took for granted. We’ve all now finally realised that unless we preserve them and other pollinators, food production can’t keep up with worldwide food demand. We can only hope that realisation is not too late.

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