Green Is the New Black: Achieving Whole-
System Sustainability in U.S. Coffee via a
Hybrid Certification Scheme

Alexandra Eagle 

Near the village of Las Capucas, in the Copán region of Honduras, Omar Rodríguez Romero manages a coffee farm and a coffee farmer cooperative called Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL). COCAFCAL assists hundreds of small coffee farmers in the region with growing, processing, and distributing their coffee each season. Coffee is a labor of love, with trees requiring several seasons’ growth before producing a single coffee cherry. During the Honduran harvest season from December to March, coffee cherries bound for specialty coffee shops around the world must be carefully handpicked by teams of seasonal and permanent employees. COCAFCAL farmers then promptly process the fruit at their group facilities to prevent cherries from spoiling. The resulting coffee beans are then sorted for quality and packaged for export.

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