The coffee plant has transformed the world.

Coffee farming has cleared vast tracts of forests and pumped chemicals into soil and water. Trade has exploited workers along the value chain. While global coffee companies have flourished, producers have often been further impoverished. But coffee is far from gloom and doom.

Especially in India, we still have the chance to influence its trajectory and foster a coffee-growing and drinking culture that is accountable to all stakeholders, including producers as well as the ecosystem.

Our intent is to enable coffee producers to protect biodiversity on their coffee farms.

We feel it will take us time to restore forests and enable producers to feel fully empowered to make good ecological choices. More so, we want whatever positive changes that occur to stick around long after we are gone.

This long-term effort is what we call the 1000-year brew.

We work to resolve three questions:

Why should small growers be denied access to fair and transparent markets?

Why should small growers be denied the capacity, training and means to grow specialty coffee?

Why should you, the coffee drinker, consume a coffee that destroys rather than protects forests?

Our work first took shape in BR Hills, Karnataka

Impact

160 SMALLHOLDER producers SUPPORTED

The community of coffee producers we work with increases by 4.6x each year. Our long-term pricing strategy enables us to provide producers with a price that is 56% higher than the closest accessible rate.

150 NATIVE TREE SPECIES CONSERVED

Producers take proactive steps to maintain a diversity of tree species on their farms and restrict the substitution of natives with exotics like silver oak.

18200 NATIVE TREES PROTECTED

All participating producers maintain 60-80% shade cover and commit to maintaining 100 trees per acre.

REDUCED DEBT

“The premium I receive from Black Baza Coffee helps me a lot. I do not borrow so much from traders who used to charge a very high interest rate.” (Basavegowda, BR Hills)

17.06% - VALUE TO PRODUCERS

Our return to producers constitutes 17.06% of our average retail price. The global average for specialty coffee brands is 2.8%.

ZERO CHEMICALS USED

Producers who could use chemical pesticides and fertilisers have explicitly committed to restrict this use as a result of their partnership with us.

Community

Our grassroots community involvement is currently in BR Hills, Karnataka, India.

Our hope is to build a set of incentives, quality improvement, financial and farm management programmes that strengthen capacities of coffee producers to be resilient to changes and empowered to act in global markets.

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Conservation

Some of the world’s best coffee regions overlap almost identically with the richest forests and wildlife areas. In India, the Lion-Tailed Macaque and Indian Moon Moth amble through forest fragments in the Western Ghats. Fragments that are often shaped by crisscrossing coffee farms. The presence of wild species (plants and animals) is then influenced by the the boundaries and activities on farms. Our conservation goal is to keep a shifting balance between place, ecology and coffee markets.

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