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Measuring and Managing the Environmental Cost of Coffee Production

Conservation Society 2009:7(2): 141-144. Victor Arce, David King, Richard Chandler, Carlin Chandler, Raul Raudales, Richard Trubey

Coffee is a major international commodity, and because of this, conventional coffee processing has the potential for considerable global impacts on the environment. These impacts include the consumption of energy, water and land. We describe an initiative undertaken at the Montes de Oro cooperative in which these impacts are reduced substantially through the development and use of alternative technologies. We show how these processes reduce the consumption of resources, and also reduce economic costs to the farmer. The initiatives undertaken at Montes de Oro can provide a model for the future for reducing the environmental costs of coffee production, while simultaneously improving economic conditions for the people in coffee producing regions.

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