How does sustainable coffee production affect coffee quality?
– PROTECT THE ORIGIN –
The complex developments of climate change make the demand for sustainable coffee production increase. Coffee producers now prioritize the application of farming methods such as agroforestry, organic, semi-organic, intercropping coffee with other crops to create biodiversity and protect soil from erosion, reducing carbon emissions into the air, …. How does growing coffee by these methods affect sustainability and ensure coffee quality? Let’s find out with 43 Factory Coffee Roaster!
Coffee farming maintains the ecosystem
According to Antônio Michelotto – agricultural expert and Director of Engineering, Agronomy and Certification of Ipanema Coffees, coffee is a sustainable crop. It is different from short-term crops such as sugar cane or soybeans that have to be cut down and replanted after each crop, causing soil degradation and loss of biodiversity. Coffee can be harvested multiple times from the same tree, helping to protect the soil, minimizing negative impacts on the environment.
In addition, growing coffee in a forest-like environment or part of a forest can also limit water consumption, creating a habitat for wildlife. Coffee-growing areas with high-shade ecosystems also create an organic cover on the soil, protecting and sustaining natural resources in the long term.
Sustainable coffee farming helps increase coffee quality
Coffee plants need to live in a good ecosystem to grow healthy and produce quality coffee beans. Antônio Michelotto said farming methods that protect the environment, reduce water pollution and improve soil health will help coffee plants avoid diseases and pests. Plants will mature in accordance with the growth cycle, easily absorb, metabolize and metabolize energy to produce results. Abundant nutrients are evenly distributed by the tree to the berries, so the coffee cherries will stay longer on the tree, the fruit density is higher, and the ripening is more uniform.
Flávio Franceschi – Environmental Analyst at Ipanema Coffees also believes that maintaining good environmental conditions, preserving biodiversity will create conditions for the development of premium coffees. Because high-quality coffee varieties require many strict conditions in terms of climate, rainfall, temperature, soil and careful care. Organic farming or agroforestry is not only beneficial to the environment but also creates an ideal growing space for coffee. They keep the growing area cool, the soil fertile, and the light and water needed for the coffee to have a lot of sugar and a rich flavor.
Some ways to produce quality and sustainable coffee
For sustainable coffee production, you can refer to a number of measures to help farms reduce their environmental impact and improve coffee quality, including:
Growing coffee by agroforestry
With this farming method, the farm can grow coffee together with shrubs, perennial woody plants, and short-term agricultural plants. Coffee will be fully protected in shade trees or forest canopy. The coffee growing area combined with forest trees can also attract many species of wildlife, from monkeys to birds and insects. This is not only good for biodiversity but also good for coffee quality. Antônio said, when planting coffee trees in combination with forest trees, the number of spiders (enemies of coffee leaf borers) increases, helping coffee leaves avoid the risk of being destroyed.
In contrast, when there is a lack of shade trees, coffee leaf borers can proliferate and defoliate trees, making it impossible for plants to photosynthesize and generate energy from sunlight, thereby affecting yield and quality. amount of coffee. Therefore, planting coffee trees in combination with forest trees can help prevent pests from attacking crops. In addition, growing different crops can also provide nutrients to the soil, reduce soil erosion, and generate more income for farmers.
Improved water treatment process
Water pollution is a daunting and costly environmental problem in coffee farms. The main cause is that wastewater from the process of using water for mechanical washing (filters to remove leaves, branches, other impurities or coffee pods) contains high levels of polluting nutrients, especially potassium.
If wastewater is not well managed, it can leak into rivers and rice fields. This will affect aquatic life and endanger the health of local people. Antônio said that to improve this problem, the first thing to do is to test the chemical composition of wastewater to see if they can be reused. Then, the farms can process to remove organic substances and reuse them for fertilizer or other stages in the production and processing process. After the treatment, of course, it is necessary to do a chemical analysis again to check that the water has met the safety standards. Wet washer manufacturers can supply water treatment equipment. For small and medium-sized farms, closed filtration systems can be built.
Strictly control the level of chemical use
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers not only pollutes the water but also harms beneficial microorganisms in the soil. But without fertilizer, coffee plants are vulnerable to attack by pests. Weak coffee plants will give lower yields. This is a dilemma for coffee producers. Flávio Franceschi says it is possible to apply an integrated pest management approach like the one that produces and commercializes Specialty Coffee Ipanema Coffees to ensure high coffee quality without harming the environment. It is a combination of techniques for low pest control (not complete elimination) using pesticides that combine prevention, monitoring, trapping and natural insecticides. Which, producers need to regularly monitor and analyze plants to determine the necessary amount of fertilizers, fertilizers and pesticides. Control and minimize the amount of chemicals needed to save resources and minimize environmental impact.
As can be seen, coffee quality and environmental sustainability can go hand in hand. However, the production of environmentally friendly coffee is not only the responsibility of the producers, but also the responsibility of the consumers. By choosing to use high-quality, clearly sourced and sustainably produced coffee like XLIII Coffee’s specialty coffees, we will contribute to protecting the health of ourselves and the earth.
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