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How a little frog is creating big change

This week marks the start of #FollowtheFrog campaign, driven by The Rainforest Alliance (RFA).

The Follow the Frog campaign aims to help consumers make better choices by purchasing products with the frog seal.  Over the past 8 years, the little symbol of the rainforest frog on packaging has informed consumers that RFA are working with farmers to grow specific crops more sustainably, creating a better future for people and nature.

The Rainforest Alliance

RFA is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. They are committed to protecting forests, improving the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities and helping them alleviate and adjust to the climate crisis.

A RFA certification indicates that a farm, forest, or tourism enterprise has been audited against rigorous certification standards that require particular steps toward long-term environmental, social, and economic sustainability. For agricultural products such as coffee, it signifies that the product or specified ingredient on the packaging was grown on certified farms that meet Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standards or the UTZ Code of Conduct.

Langdon Coffee Merchant’s Guy Wilson sat down for an interview recently to discuss the significance of the RFA. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: How is Langdon Coffee Merchants working with O’Coffee

A: LCM has been working with O’Coffee for a number of years now and are very proud to supply their RFA certified beans.

Over time, our relationship with O’Coffee has become more collaboration than a transactional relationship, as we work together towards a more sustainable future by supporting positive practices in our coffee and tea farming communities. This involves not only taking care of the environment but also providing better working conditions and treating all workers with respect.

O’Coffee is involved in numerous projects that aim to benefit the people and organisations in the city to support the local community, such as the volunteer program of farm workers, reforestation project and training courses for employees and their families, to list a few. The ecological management of the environment is also a key part of what they do, as they establish practices to preserve and grow native species within their properties, with approximately fifteen million square metres devoted to their preservation and conservation efforts. These continuous efforts to develop both the community and the environment is part of attaining the certification with RFA. 

Q: Why is supporting The Rainforest Alliance Important to LCM?

A: Coffee grows in some of the most beautiful, biodiverse and remote regions in the world. The growers who produce coffee beans are often hard-working families and local communities who often face significant economic and social challenges. We want to build the foundations for multi-generational relationships with coffee producers.

By supporting RFA, we not only draw attention to, but help create a financial premium in the market for those producers that use sound environmental practices and provide better working conditions for their growers.

I’d love to think that as we grow, we can also help our producers build resilience and prosperity for their families and communities in the years to come.

Q: Is there a strong demand for RFA certified coffee?

A: More and more consumers are becoming aware of their impact on the environment and are actively trying to make positive changes in their daily life that contribute to a more sustainable future. Consumers are increasingly prepared to pay a premium in order to buy products they trust are doing the right thing to protect the environment and drive positive social change.

We are also finding that our own customers (roasters) want to buy coffees they can trust. For roasters, this encompasses fairly paid producers and environmentally friendly and sustainable growing and processing conditions.

The RFA certification makes it easy to spot when a product follows these processes, which consumers can acknowledge and appreciate.

If you’d like to know more about what the Rainforest Alliance do you can head to their website. To hear more about what we do or what we offer, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you with your enquiry.