Changing Coffee Habits with Seal Your Cup The Rainforest Alliance campaign Seal Your Cup aims to get coffee drinkers to switch to more sustainable options

More than 400 million cups of coffee are consumed each day in the U.S., often with little thought as to where or how the beans were grown. But traditional coffee growing leaves a major impact. Alex Morgan, manager of sustainable agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance (RA), described travels to coffee farms that were once diverse forest habitats and are now bleak monocultures with “a lot of garbage from human waste and waste from coffee mills that goes directly into streams and rivers” and farmers who have “no real negotiating power.”

seal your cup, Credit: Trophygeek, FlickrCC

RA’s Seal Your Cup campaign aims to get coffee drinkers to switch to their certified growers instead. A Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farm—supported by companies like Caribou Coffee and Birds and Beans—protects wildlife, reduces trash, maintains soil health and keeps waterways clean. While most coffee crops today are grown with exposure to full sunlight to produce the most beans in the least amount of time, RA-certified farms utilize the traditional method of shade-growing, which prevents deforestation. Along with a healthier, sustainable environment, farmers and farm workers are paid at least their national minimum wage and are provided with housing, clean drinking water, medical care and free education for their children.

Jody Spraker, RA’s marketing coordinator, explained that Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee represents just 1½-2% of coffee production worldwide, but through social-media networks like Facebook and Twitter, the Seal Your Cup campaign is hoping to drive an ongoing dialogue about how the choice for better lives and a better environment begins with the consumer.

CONTACT: Seal Your Cup.