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Us Kiwis love our coffee: every year we drink 180 million takeaway coffees alone. Unfortunately, it’s a habit that can have dramatic and negative impacts on the people and places where coffee is grown. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 18 million acres of rainforests are destroyed annually to farm crops like coffee.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can choose to buy coffee that’s grown in places where ecosystems, wildlife, water and workers are protected and communities are thriving.

One of the longest-standing organisations that help make this happen is the Rainforest Alliance. Alarmed at the widespread effects of deforestation, founder Daniel Katz and a group of volunteers convened a major conference in 1986. Out of this event, Rainforest Alliance was born to help safeguard the health of forests and communities.

Now a non-profit organisation, their main goal is to find solutions to combat destructive farming techniques, restore balance to the environment and create positive social and economic progress for rainforest businesses and their employees. Thirty years later, their logo has become an internationally recognised symbol of environmental sustainability.

An important aspect of the Rainforest Alliance is their certification. Businesses such as farms and tourism operators must meet strict standards in environmental management, ecosystem conservation, wildlife protection, water conservation and worker conditions in order to certify their products or services. To remain certified, businesses must pass an annual audit and keep meeting Rainforest Alliance standards.

Z Why Coffee Berries Body image

Coffee has been an important part of Rainforest Alliance’s mission since 1995. They’ve introduced training and guidelines for farmers to boost their harvests through healthy and sustainable farming methods and have established a curriculum for children in kindergartens and schools. Coffee farmers still face many challenges, such as climate change and market price fluctuations, but with Rainforest Alliance support growers continue to see new benefits. Improvements include the promotion of better living and working conditions, gender equality and access to free education for children in rainforest communities. On top of this, Rainforest Alliance certified farms recycle rubbish, reduce waste and endeavour to keep soils as healthy as possible.

When Z Energy was selecting a coffee supplier, choosing Rainforest Alliance accreditation was an easy decision. Z’s been serving up rainforest-friendly coffee since 2013. A recent Colmar Brunton Better Futures Report found that Kiwis are increasingly choosing products that are ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly. Z’s providing caffeine-loving Kiwis with a choice that helps them make a difference.

Grab barista-made coffee that's Rainforest Alliance certified at over 140 Z Espress stations around the country. While you’re at it, download the Z App. Buy six Z Espress coffees or hot drinks and the next one’s free! 

Got questions? Drop us a line at yourviews@z.co.nz.

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