We at Chameleon Cold-Brew are committed to Fair Trade, organic, and sustainable business practices. These labels have been really batted around the past decade, but what do they mean? Let us tell you what they mean to us:
Fair Trade is a process of certification that ensures the beans we use to craft each bottle of Chameleon Cold-Brew have been grown using responsible farming practices and those doing the growing have been given a fair price for their crops. Chameleon is committed to using only Fair Trade beans. We feel those who have done the hard work of growing the wonderful coffees we use should be well paid. The Fair Trade organizations also ensure the farmers are kept privy to sustainable farming practices to ensure their crops maintain the high quality consistency we all enjoy in every bottle of Chameleon. We’ve chosen local Austin roaster, Texas Coffee Traders as our official roaster. As owner R.C. Beall often likes to say “we (TxCT) were Fair Trade before there was a Fair Trade!” He’s referring to the Monteverde coop in Costa Rica that he has supported and helped to grow since the mid-eighties. The very one from which much of our blend comes!
Organic refers to another certification process. This one aims to monitor how well farmers and producers treat the environment. We buy only organic coffees so that we can be sure the forests the coffees were grown in were treated in a respectful and responsible way. No environmentally damaging pesticides were used, no forests were stripped away to make room for plantations, soil erosions were kept in check so that the nutrients the forests need are kept where they need them and not swept to the ocean. Healthy forests are vital to our life on Mother Earth and we at Chameleon are committed to doing our part to keep them healthy.
“Sustainability means using methods, systems and materials that won’t deplete resources or harm natural cycles” (Rosenbaum, 1993).
This definition has been a guide as we navigate the complex web of decisions that affect our business. We have tried to use the most recyclable containers. We have used vendors committed to carbon offsets. Our commitment to organic, Fair Trade coffees speak to sustainability. We are committed to production near distribution points to try and minimize shipping. When forced to use shipping we are committed to using a carbon offset program through Green Mountain Energy. Our production facility seeks to use wind produced energy. All of these things taken together, we hope, will make a significant difference to our environment, our quality of life, and our future generations.
All of these commitments are going to cost us more to operate financially. We’re alright with that. No dollar amount can be put on operating our business in a respectful, responsible manner.