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Sharing the Cool News on Climate Progress: A Cool Farm Tool Update

Recent findings from Cooperative Coffees’ carbon assessment study indicate encouraging results toward the ongoing battle against climate change via small scale farming over large scale industrial agriculture practices. Higher Grounds is proud to be a part of this important initiative as member owners of Cooperative Coffees. 

How are we contributing to this crucial work?

In 2017, the Cool Farm Tool Pilot project was developed to measure the carbon footprint of a selection of farms in our producer family. This initiative was formed as part of Cooperative Coffees’ commitment toward implementing carbon neutrality by 2025–not just in our roasteries and cafes, but also from the source: the very farms from which we source our bean crops. Findings from this study have shown that among the 370 farm parcels assessed within our producer sample, 62% were found to be carbon negative, with a median carbon emission of negative 1.2 kg CO2e per kilogram of coffee across the sample–exciting news!

“The Cool Farm Tool is a digital carbon calculation application designed to enable farmers to track and

understand the environmental impact of their production and determine the best organic

practices for climate resiliency and crop health. The launch of this project, focused on training

individual farmers in the use of the Cool Farm Tool, marks the beginning of an industry-wide

effort to recognize farmers’ leadership in mitigating climate change. In particular, the project

partners aim to improve farmer livelihoods and incentivize carbon capture by ensuring roasters

and importers can pay for it, or reward it, through the establishment of a voluntary industry-wide

soil carbon premium.”--Cooperative Coffees

Supporting Small Scale Farming through Sustainable Practices

On top of Higher Grounds’ commitment to paying above Fair Trade prices, for every pound of coffee sold, 3 cents go into Cooperative Coffee’s Impact Fund—which since 2015 has generated over $900,000 co-op wide. These funds go into producer-led community projects which develop, maintain, and support our collective goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 via regenerative practices and an agroforestry approach: Reestablishing shade cover, maintaining healthier soil and plants, encouraging greater biodiversity, and sequestering carbon through small-scale farming. 

Learn more at