Since 1995, Equator Coffees & Teas® has maintained a commitment to sustainability and as a result, over 50% of Equator’s coffees are certified Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or some combination of all three. Equator’s warehouse is certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) for compliance in proper handling and storage of organic coffees, and Equator was one of the first 10 roasters in the U.S. to sign up with TransFair USA to sell Fair Trade coffees. In 2005, Equator began purchasing Rainforest Alliance-certified coffees and promoting them to customers. Equator supports each of these three certifications and believes strongly in an inclusive approach to buying that accommodates the true diversity of growing conditions.
Equator is guided by the following principals in procuring green coffee:
- Quality leads to sustainability; to ensure quality the necessary premiums must be paid.
- Each type of certification has value and is a testament to the improved conditions in which a certified coffee is produced, thus increasing the chances of a quality yield.
- An inclusive, informed approach to sourcing coffee that embraces certified coffees, estate coffees and select cooperative coffees guarantees access to quality coffees from a wide range of growing regions.
Equator supports growers who practice sustainable land stewardship and who understand the social, environmental and economic impact of our relationship. Equator has secured long-term direct relationships with growers and when possible travels to the origin in order to strengthen these relationships and gain insight into the unique challenges and conditions of specific coffee-producing regions. Most recently, Helen Russell visited Rwanda and toured several cooperatives. Because of these introductions, Equator is now purchasing green coffee from the Mig Cooperative in Rwanda.