HomeRoast Digest

Topic: ...And here's why we should all be environmentalists! (7 msgs / 171 lines)
1) From: Gabriel Lawrence
Saving Jungles May Aid Nearby Coffee Plantations
Mon Aug 2, 6:47 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -  Conserving tropical forests
may benefit nearby coffee plantations, researchers
reported on Monday. 
 Bees can cross over from the jungle to pollinate the
coffee trees, resulting in greater yields and
healthier coffee beans, the U.S. researchers found.
 "Policies that allow landowners to capture the value
of pollination and other services could provide
powerful incentives for forest conservation in some of
the most biodiverse and threatened regions on Earth,"
the researchers wrote in their report, published in
the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
(news - web sites).
 The researchers at the World Wildlife Fund,
California's Stanford University and the University of
Kansas said they focused on coffee because it is such
an important crop.
 "Coffee ... ranks among the five most valuable
agricultural exports from developing nations, employs
over 25 million people worldwide, and is cultivated in
many of the world's most biodiverse regions," they
 Pollination by wild bees increased coffee yields by
20 percent when tropical forest existed within about
half a mile of the forest, they found.
 And coffee trees visited by wild bees from the jungle
were 27 percent less likely to produce "peaberries" --
small, misshapen seeds that result from inadequate
 For their study the WWF's Taylor Ricketts and
colleagues focused on Finca Santa Fe, a large coffee
farm in the Valle General of Costa Rica. The farm has
several areas of forest on its borders.
 They weighed the coffee beans produced by trees at
various distances from the wild forest for their results.
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2) From: John Blumel
On Aug 3, 2004, at 4:08am, Gabriel Lawrence wrote:
Not that I don't think it's a good idea to preserve jungle/rain forest, 
as well as old growth forests in North America, but a) increased yields 
would seem to be the last thing coffee growers need right now and b) 
many people will actually pay more money for those 'peaberries'.
John Blumel

3) From: Craig Wichner
 > John Blumel wrote:
right now and b) many people will actually pay more money for those
That's a slippery slope John... I can see it now, "Support the poor coffee
farmers while promoting superior coffee quality by contributing to the
'Pro-Peaberry Deforestation Fund' today!"
(Sipping on my favorite Kora Peaberry)

4) From: John Blumel
On Aug 3, 2004, at 2:15pm, Craig Wichner wrote:
Well, that wasn't my argument. There are plenty of reasons to preserve 
forests but I don't think coffee growers are likely to be impressed by 
arguments that preserving these forests will result in even lower 
coffee prices for them. In that sense, this study may have exactly the 
opposite effect from what the WWF researchers were hoping.
On the other hand, it will probably play well in this country and other 
industrial nations that are major coffee consumers. But then, we aren't 
really the ones who need to be convinced of the value of conserving 
tropical forests.
John Blumel

5) From: Craig Wichner
John Blumel wrote:
There should have been a big :-) at the end of my email...Just putting words
around a farcical extreme of your (logical and correct) statement. The WWF
report is interesting data for the "converted", but IMHO doesn't get to the
heart of the economics of deforestation.  In fact, I could use that report
to make another case, notably:  If a farmer can double his/her farm land by
chopping down a neighboring forest, and will only loose 20% production, as
long as they can still make a larger dollar net profit (after increased
farming costs) it makes economic sense to chop the trees down.  Ouch.
I agree with you, I don't think anyone is a fan of deforestation (other than
the deforesters), and I don't think these facts presented by WWF will turn
any tides by itself. It is however interesting data and does quantify the
value of preserving the natural environment (aside from the value in and of
Craig Wichner

6) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I don't think I have ever been to a coffee farm that DOESN'T have 
land set aside as preserve/ natural forest. Your really need to go to 
Brazil to see unforested coffee land, but then again it is grown in 
areas that never were forested. I am definitely an "environmentalist" 
but coffee seems like such a misguided target. If you want to look at 
rampant deforestation, destruction of habitat  etc you don't have to 
travel to coffee land - its in our own backyards (so to speak). But 
it is more convenient to find problems in other people's backyards....
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george

7) From: John Blumel
On Aug 3, 2004, at 3:33pm, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote:
Yes, it definitely takes away any moral authority we think we might 
have when you look at what we've done and are doing to our own forests 
here in the US.
John Blumel

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