What is Regenerative Organic Certified Coffee? | Equator Coffees
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What is Regenerative Organic Certified™ coffee?

Climate change is disproportionately affecting the tropical and subtropical regions where coffee is grown[1]: 

    • 50% of global land area suitable for coffee production may be lost by 2050 due to climate change
    • 60% of coffee species are considered at high risk of extinction
    • 25M smallholder coffee growers are at risk of losing their primary source of income due to declining coffee yields

    Regenerative agriculture--a practice of holistic farming where everything is seen as interconnected and vital--can build resilience to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect the future of coffee and our planet. Regenerative Organic Certified was established in 2017 by a group of farmers, business leaders, and experts in soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness collectively called the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA). ROC™ expands on existing food certifications to champion three pillars:

      1. Soil Health & Land Management
      2. Animal Welfare
      3. Farmer & Worker Fairness

      “Traditional, shade-grown coffee is the perfect expression of regeneration. Learning about and specializing in this during my graduate studies signified a pivotal turning point in my life and career, making regenerative organic coffee particularly near and dear to my heart. When you see the ROC™ label, consumers know for a fact that they are supporting farms that meet the highest production standards for the environment, animals, and people involved. We are thrilled for ROC Equator Coffees to hit our local shelves!" - Elizabeth Whitlow, Executive Director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance

      ROC™’s all-encompassing certification formalizes a level of accountability in today’s world system that is vital to ensuring the future of agriculture and our planet.

      In spring 2022, Cooperativa Sacaclí in Nicaragua became the first coffee producer in the world to harvest a Regenerative Organic Certified crop. Already organic and fair trade certified, Cooperativa Sacaclí took the additional steps to receive ROC™ Bronze-level certification to protect the future of its members and the planet against the effects of climate change.

      We were proud to partner with Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Sacaclí (Cooperativa Sacaclí) to bring to market the first annual harvest of Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) coffee ever commercially available. Our 25+ year commitment to partners at every link in the supply chain was recognized by being the first coffee company in California to become B-Corp certified (2011) and now, as a roaster of the first annual harvest of ROC™ coffee.

      Since the Fall of 2023, we also offer a Regenerative Organic Certified washed coffee from the Peruvian cooperative, La Prosperidad de Chrinos. Situated in Peru’s Cajamarca growing region in the Andes mountains, Chirinos is a coffee grower’s cooperative with a long & proud history of sustainability and traceability in coffee. Peru Chirinos Regenerative Organic Certified™ is now roasting here at Equator.

      “Every certification is a step in the path towards a sustainable and equitable coffee value chain. Equator has a long-term commitment to directly sourced, organic, and fair-trade coffees; Regenerative Organic Certified is the logical next step. As a business owner I feel a responsibility to every one of our stakeholders to ensure that our business has a positive impact on the world. We must act now to ensure the future of coffee and all agriculture. Holistic solutions like ROC™ practices are vital to preserving our planet and the farms of our coffee growing partners.” - Helen Russell, Co-founder of Equator Coffees 

      About La Prosperidad de Chirinos

      La Prosperidad de Chirinos is a coffee grower’s cooperative located in northern Peru’s San Ignacio province, within the Cajamarca growing region. Cajamarca, which extends to the Ecuador border, is situated in the Andes mountains, the longest mountain range in the world. Since being founded in 1968, Chirinos has grown from 36 to over 700 members, some of whom have been a part of the organization since its inception. The group aims to improve the quality of life for its members through education, sustainability initiatives, and food security programs, as well as the diversification of their lands. In addition to being Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™), La Prosperidad de Chirinos is also Fair Trade certified.


      About Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Sacaclí 

      Established in 1994, Cooperativa Sacaclí brings together more than 500 small-scale farmers in rural communities of Jinotega in north-central Nicaragua. The non-profit cooperative offers a multitude of services including production, technical assistance, financial services, and commercialization. In accordance with their commitment to continuous growth and improvement, the members of the cooperative made the decision to invest in sustainable practices and became Organic and FairTrade certified as of 2016. After witnessing firsthand the effects of climate change over the past few years, the cooperative felt it was critical to take further steps to protect the future of its members and the planet. They identified the ROC™ program as a useful tool to bring new best practices for agronomic crop management and social development for its members, as well as strengthen customer loyalty. Through existing regenerative agricultural practices and the implementation of new social and animal-related practices, Cooperativa Sacaclí received Bronze level certification for two of its main crops- bananas and coffee. The cooperative is actively analyzing additional investments that could move its farms towards Silver then Gold certification with future audits. www.coopsacacli.com


      [1] Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

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