(Original Cafe Solar® promotional video, made by Merchants of Green Coffee team with help from some talented friends in 2013)
Cafe Solar® is Climate Change Coffee
This coffee shines a light on the environmental threat resulting from coffee production and climate change and provides a real way for consumers to act!
Cafe Solar® is an alternative, sustainable coffee solution. It is a proven, working model for coffee production that is the first to combine coffee growing, forest restoration, and 100% off-grid, solar-powered processing.
Sustainable Innovations in Coffee
The use of clean, renewable solar energy in coffee processing (pioneering solar-dried coffee) and a new system of restorative farming (Integrated Open Canopy™ “forest farms”) are the two major, sustainable innovations of the Cafe Solar® program. The program essentially reverses the effects of conventional coffee supply chains so that instead of causing deforestation and carbon emissions, the production of this coffee actually contributes to natural forest regeneration and sequesters carbon.
Three Pillars of the Program
- Solar-Powered Coffee Processing
Instead of being processed using wood-burning dryers (which are “the norm” in coffee-processing across Central & South America), Cafe Solar® uses an advanced, 100% off-grid coffee dryer (processor) powered by renewable solar energy, making it the world’s first solar-dried coffee! This means zero trees are cut down to fuel the processing; and, a clean energy substitute is being used to fuel the new dryer (In fact, this coffee’s entire processing facility runs off-the-grid!).
- Restorative Farming
Cafe Solar® coffee trees are grown using a system of farming that directly contributes to the protection and restoration of the natural forests surrounding the coffee farms. This system is called Integrated Open Canopy™ and it stops coffee production from threatening natural forests by placing forest buffer zones between the protected forests and the coffee farms. The buffer zones are left to grow wild and, as the natural forest is restored, they link up with nearby forests creating corridors that support migratory birds and other keystone species (See, Yoro Biological Corridor). These forests and their rich biodiversity are not only essential coffee-growing habitats, they’re also vital to the region’s ecosystem, and their existence is crucial to keeping our global climate in check. Cafe Solar® is grown organically, which replenishes rather than pollutes soil, air and water. It also incorporates organic composting for fertilizer production, making use of valuable coffee by-products that often go to waste.
- Managed By Women
The coffee is produced by women who oversee the entire process; from growing, to processing, to export. These women are key drivers in growing and measuring the impact of their work.
Cafe Solar® Is Our Model for Coffee Addressing Climate Issues
It’s the product of a completely independent, transparent and simplified supply chain made up of a small group of people who genuinely care and are trying to match actions to words.
We Merchants of Green Coffee have been working directly with the women-managed producers in Honduras and the Mesoamerican Development Institute (non-profit organization that supplies the solar-dried coffee technology and technical training) for 20+ years, to develop and grow this coffee’s supply and its impact.
Join us by drinking this exceptional Honduran coffee! If you’re in Canada, you can get Cafe Solar® coffee (fresh-roasted and green beans) from our cafe and at the St. Lawrence Market South Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning until 1:30pm.