our ethos

We believe Sustainability should no longer be a question, but an expectation.

It seems like everyone throws around the word ‘sustainable’ nowadays, but what does that actually mean? Sustainability can be defined as ‘meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

To us it means so much more! It’s a call to action that forms the pillars of our mission statement, and something we think about in every decision we make. For us, it’s not just about our environmental impact either. We focus on three key areas; economic, environmental & social sustainability.

At Locale, (in conjunction with our friends at Genovese) we’re committed to bringing quality coffee & people together, but we really take our commitment to the environment & future generations of coffee drinkers seriously too. We partner with like-minded people around the globe who share our focus for quality, sustainability & social responsibility to ensure we leave not only the coffee industry, but the earth in a better position than we found it.

Here you’ll find a list of our sustainability actions – check back for updates on our progress in this area.

our coffee

We make every effort to ensure that the green coffees we purchase are sourced ethically and responsibly, with a focus on sustainability. Like many roasters, our blends are our biggest sellers and, due to the sheer volume of green bean purchased, have the biggest impact too. So, it was here we originally focused our attention:

Firstly, all of the farms we purchase our green bean from are child-labour free. Sounds like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of coffee farms aren’t able to support this claim (another reason why it’s so important to know where your coffee comes from)!

Our Brazilian is sourced directly from Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza meaning ‘environmental fortress farm’, a sustainable farm with a focus on organic practices, relationships & producing high quality coffees. Here they offer their workers a 50% share of the coffees they plant to give each member a real sense of ownership. They’ve also been the recipients of Sustainability awards from the Specialty Coffee Association.

The Indian, we’ve sourced from Chikmagalur, which forms part of the Western Ghats, one of the few vitally important global eco-hotspots. The farmers in this region take particular care to grow shade-grown, environmentally responsible coffee with the knowledge that their farming practices and sustainability can have global ramifications.

Our Honduras is the product of our newest direct-trade relationship with Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera, the husband & wife team behind El Puente Estate. Marysabel and Moises stand out as top producers with a genuine focus on putting resources back into the local community. Even giving up a portion of their farmland to build a school for the local children.

While all our coffees are sourced ethically & responsibly, our 142 Organic coffee is certified both Fair Trade & Organic. In order to obtain these certifications, the coffees, farms & processes undertaken need to have ticked all the right boxes.

Our roasting facility is solar powered & we offset all of our carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits from renewable energy programs around the world. We are part of the Carbon Reduction Institute’s ‘Low Carbon Economy’ & a Low Co2 certified business…you can view our page on their site here. This means each one of our Locale products is 100% certified carbon neutral. The carbon offset program also covers the transport of our coffee, as well as staff travel, electricity usage, etc.

transparency

We strongly believe in paying producers a premium price for quality coffee and assisting them in investing back into their communities & businesses. We achieve this firstly, through building long-term relationships with the farmers we source our green bean from and trading direct wherever possible. This ensures the producers receive 100% of the agreed price, we aren’t paying third parties to broker, source or import the beans. Secondly, we aim to agree on a fair price that ensures the producers not only make a profit but are able to re-invest into their farm & future crops.

It’s worth noting that we’re able to do this for our blend origins as we buy in substantially larger lots. For smaller, spot buys & microlots, going direct-to-farm is not always a viable option (or the most sustainable one). In this case, we deal with reputable importers who are aligned with our ethos.

You’ve probably heard roasters discussing the price they pay farmers in reference to the C Price or the Fairtrade Price. That can be quite confusing without context…so we’ve tried to break those down in detail first.

What is the C Price?  Basically it’s the market price. Green coffee is traded as a commodity, a raw material that can be bought & sold on the exchange market. The trading price of Arabica on the Intercontinental Exchange in New York is known as the C Price, and it’s this figure that determines the price of coffee around the world. When coffee is being used as a financial tool, the market can be volatile, with wide price fluctuations year to year. Unfortunately, the C Price isn’t linked to the cost of production which can have an unfair impact on producers. At times, coffee prices can drop below the cost of producing the coffee & threaten the livelihood of many families who rely on the C Price to sell their green bean.

What is the Fairtrade Minimum Price? The Fairtrade program guarantees producers a minimum floor price when global commodity prices drop. It aims to ensure that producers can cover their average costs of sustainable production. And acts as a safety net for farmers when world markets fall below a sustainable level. For producers with Fairtrade certification, they can count on at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price per pound, slightly more if the product is also organic. When the market price is higher than the Fairtrade Minimum Price, the buyer has to pay the higher price. Producers can also negotiate higher prices based on quality and other attributes.

We pay all the farmers we work with, a substantial amount above both the C Price & the Fairtrade Minimum Price. We don’t buy any commodity coffee. Specialty Grade coffee naturally attracts a higher premium based off the coffee’s cup score (quality of the green bean). And, as mentioned above, it’s the relationships at farm level that are important to us, not the cheapest price.

community initiatives

In addition to paying a fair price for green bean, we also contribute to the farms & their surrounding communities in other ways. Some we’ve listed above, but these two are initiatives that we support directly:

CriaCarmo Coffee Project®: In 2013, our friends at CarmoCoffees initiated this program with the vision of helping hundreds of underprivileged children from Carmo de Minas, in Brazil. The project provides social and athletic programs for at-risk and underprivileged youth in the community with the goal of helping these kids attend universities (through scholarship), finding internships, and being active participants in their local communities.

With a focus on sports learning and student achievement, the CriaCarmo Project® now reaches around 150 kids in the area. They’re given the opportunity to learn swimming, futsal, chess and English. In addition to the time spent in the program, the CriaCarmo team also provide access to social workers who follow up with the kids’ families & schools.

If you’d like to contribute to this project personally, contact us for details of the PayPal link set up by CarmoCoffees. Or visit their website to learn more.

Orangutan Coffee Project: We’re very excited to be supporting the Orangutan Coffee Project, an initiative very close to our hearts as some of our team were invited to visit their Indonesian sanctuary recently. This 360 degree program works closely with Sumatran coffee farmers to improve farming practices in organic & ecologically friendly coffee plantations, supports the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) & fights against deforestation.

On top of the agreed price for green bean, we pay a premium to OCP which is split two ways; 50% goes to the independent smallholder farmers & 50% goes to SOCP where they work to rehabilitate the critically endangered Sumatran orangutans affected by deforestation (mainly due to palm oil), and reintroduce them into protected rain forests.

For more information on this project, you can visit: www.orangutan.coffee 

organics waste

Have you ever considered what happens to the Used Coffee Grounds (UCG) after your coffee is made? Most are thrown in the bin & end up in landfill. This is a major problem because of the amount of Methane used coffee emits when left to decompose. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and is created when organic materials break down without the presence of oxygen in landfill. UCG are also an important resource, rich in nutrients and minerals, currently being wasted in landfill.

Coffee 4 Planet Ark: In 2016, Planet Ark released a feasibility study into the collection and recycling of Used Coffee Grounds. The report showed that 93% are sent to landfill with only 7% being re-purposed or recycled. There are many different uses for UCG being explored around the world, from odour-busting clothing to biodiesel. It’s important to re-purpose UCG firstly, to make use of this fantastic resource and secondly, to avoid the methane produced when it’s sent to landfill. We’re excited to be involved in trialing their new program, Coffee 4 Planet Ark. The aim of the program is to collect UCG from cafes and corporate businesses, divert them from landfill, recycle them into compost and soil fertiliser & research other potential, higher-value end uses. The trial has commenced in Sydney & Melbourne, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on their progress.

packaging

Online Store: The cardboard boxes you receive via our online store are recyclable. As is the branded tissue paper inside; it’s eco-friendly, acid-free & FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council). The ink is soy-based, as opposed to traditional petroleum-based ink. The certification ensures the materials were sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner. These can be popped directly into your curbside recycling!

Deliveries via our online store are also 100% carbon neutral through a delightful company called Sendle…you can read more about them here.

Takeaway Cups: It’s estimated that over 1 Billion disposable cups end up landfill each year! In keeping with our brand ethos, we’ve converted 100% of our takeaway cup/lid range across to a recyclable alternative in hopes of reducing the waste our industry contributes. For more information about our partnership with Detpak, their award-winning RecycleMe™ program (which is endorsed by Planet Ark), and how you can get involved, visit our blog. Note: these cups can’t be added to regular curbside recycling. They need to be popped into the RecycleMe™ bins to ensure they don’t end up in landfill. We suggest holding onto them & returning them to stores with designated collection station (also listed on the blog).

Coffee Packaging: We’re working hard on a sustainable alternative to our coffee bags in the very near future. As much as we’d like to, this isn’t a change we’re able to make overnight. We’re very deep into the process of providing you with new, fully recyclable coffee packaging that will have a huge impact on our environmental footprint while still providing you with the freshest beans you know & love. We can’t wait to update you on this one, but for now, our lips are sealed!

 

We’re always looking for ways we can continue to improve in this area. As always, we welcome your feedback, suggestions & queries. If you’d like to drop us a line, head over to our contact page.