At Dean’s Beans, respect and caring for the environment is hardwired into our brains. We have been 100% certified organic since day one. We have worked in many countries assisting farmers to obtain and maintain organic certification, which brings a price premium in the market as well as protecting and enhancing soil, water, worker health and critical migratory bird habitat. Climate change is a real and immediate threat to coffee, which some experts outlining that coffee could be extinct as we know it in 2080. (More on climate change and its impact on coffee here.)
We are working with our cooperative partners in Mexico and Nicaragua on effective roya (rust bacteria) fighting strategies and trainings. Our water buffalo eco-management program in Sumatra has made organic fertilizer (guess how!) and weed control financially affordable for many farmers. In Peru, we have created an innovative and successful reforestation program that is regenerating indigenous woodlands for sustainable timber, food and medicine harvesting in the future (the farmers call it their “social security”). Our interns have made wonderful contributions to our ecological work, creating recycling programs and monitoring land use. Our first Javatrekker SocialXChange in January of 2014 successfully brought together organic farmers from the north and south to share experiences.
In 2014, we launched a fully compostable line of packaging for our coffee. Our five-pound and one-pound bags are biodegradable and can be either home composted (just remove the tin tie - even the valve decomposes!), or they will decompose into nothing in the landfill. The bags are made of a high-barrier material that decomposes in about six-months (based on our own tests here, or on tests by the developers over at TekPak -read more here.) Unlike "bioplastics" that break down into small balls of plastic doom, these bags simply disappear as humus (that's soil-like matter, not to be confused with hummus, which can sometimes taste like soil.)