The tiger is an important icon for all of us at Equator. Since our founding in 1995, we have incorporated the image of a Bengal Tiger as a symbol in our logo and branding. For us the tiger evokes the grace and strength we hope to embody as a company, and we're here to help it survive. Since 2013 we have been supporting an Indonesian organization that is committed protecting Sumatran Tigers. We do this by pay premium for each pound of coffee purchased through our Volkopi, one of our importing partners in Sumatra. The premium is then deposited into a fund called the Sumatran Tiger Trust, and helps provide the resources needed to support the work of the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, 97% of the global tiger population has been lost in the last century. In Indonesia, both Bali and Java tigers have been hunted to extinction. However, the Sumatran Tiger endures, though it is critically endangered with as few as 400 individuals left in the island’s national parks, game reserves and adjoining unprotected areas. Poaching, sport hunting, and deforestation required for agricultural and urban expansion all play a role in these dwindling numbers. Tigers need intact habitats in order to survive, but their traditional territories have become increasingly fragmented leaving tigers vulnerable, especially when the animals come in close contact with people.
The Sumatran Tiger Trust was founded in February 2000 to help supply resources for the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program. This program is an expansion of a tiger conservation project that started five years earlier in Way Kambas National Park, located in southeastern Sumatra. In the years since, the program has been extended to Bukit Tigapuluh National Park and the Senepis Buluhala Tiger Conservation Area. The Tiger Trust is connected to the British Safari Zoo Nature Foundation. In addition to managing an actual wildlife zoo in the town of Barrow-in-Furness in northwestern England, the foundation funds several conservation projects including the Sumatran Tiger Trust.
The Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program manages anti-poaching patrol teams that roam the forests looking for poachers and destroying tiger traps. More than fifty strategically located infra-red cameras have been installed over the three protection sites to accurately record the movement of tigers, their prey and other wildlife. Rangers are trained to capture and relocate tigers that have wandered into villages and release them in safe habitats where they will be free to roam again. The rangers also engage with neighboring communities in order to educate residents on why tigers need to be protected in the first place and to gain valuable local support. They also regularly visit schools to teach children about tigers. This project has been enormously successful and as a result some of the older children in the villages have become part of the conservation team.
Equator is committed to the Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program and one of the last remaining populations of wild tigers anywhere in the world. Each year we provide funds that will allow the Tiger Trust to pay one years’ salary for two trained rangers, including uniforms and gear. If you have enjoyed our namesake Equator Blend over the last few years, you have you have helped in a small way to protect the limited remaining habitat of the Sumatran Tiger.