Since we typically hear about how devastating the effects of climate change are on coffee farms and on coffee farmers, it was exciting to learn about the opposite case - a coffee farm that is helping to reduce carbon emissions, while adapting to on-going changes in the environment. In an area called a "biosphere" in Ethiopia, several coffee farms, including those owned by Diamond Enterprises, are located in the core and buffer zones of the Kaffa Forest UNESCO biosphere.
What is a Biosphere and why are they so cool? Biosphere reserves are like special national parks. In some ways they are international parks because they are created/certified by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). They are designed to be 'learning places for sustainable development.' They are sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including climate change and management of biodiversity.
|Map of the Kaffa Forest Biosphere in Ethiopia|
Dehab Mesfin Bitewlign has been the managing director of Diamond since 2014, exporting her natural and washed fine Ethiopian coffee first to Germany, then elsewhere in Europe, and now, for the first time, her fantastic naturals (Gr. 1 and 2) will be entering the USA via Artisan Coffee Imports. Artisan was excited, like every buyer, first by the taste in the cup. It scored 87.5, offering classic Kaffa Forest natural fruit-forward, blueberry, sugar, almond flavors and a clean, crisp finish. Click here to go to Artisan's website and get more info on the coffee.
|Dehab Bitewlign (right) at the IWCA Cupping, Expo 2019 in Boston.|
The story of the farm's special location became clearer as conversations on the coffee's details continued. Turns out her coffee has an environmental triple benefit! We know from other research that coffee, as a tree crop, brings environmental advantages that other crops can't offer. Dehab's farm, like many farms in Ethiopia, magnifies coffee's carbon-reduction benefits because it is grown under a canopy of large trees. Dehab confirmed with government offices that her farms are within the Kaffa Forest protected area, which means her carefully regulated environmental practices create a third benefit of supporting the biosphere!
|Entering a forest coffee plantation in Ethiopia|
The triple environmental benefit of Dehab's Diamond coffee:
- Environmental benefits of coffee as a tree crop
- Ecological advantages of forest coffee in Ethiopia
- Climate change and biodiversity benefits of operating within a biosphere
To learn more about the Kaffa Forest biosphere, click here.
To learn more about the 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries - all of which belong to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, click here.