Alakef's Commitment to Sustainability
For over two decades, Alakef Coffee has dedicated itself to bringing you the finest coffees available from countries around the world. Our business has supported direct links between local and world markets. We buy green coffee; we sell roasted beans to customers throughout the Midwest, who in turn, sell coffee beverages to their customers. Along the way, that chain also involves suppliers, transportation and financial components that are interdependent on each other.
Using the definition of sustainability as “the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions,” Alakef has been a supporter of sustainability from the inception of our business.
The economic aspect of sustainability is detailed above, but the other two dimensions of environmental and social are also important to us.
Alakef Coffee has always had an aggressive recycling program, and now with the advent of innovations such as corn starch based packaging materials, we are able to take steps to further reduce what we use and put back into the environment. Our chief roasting by-products (coffee chaff and jute bags) have been regularly stocking compost bins, mulching gardens, insulating trees and hauling hunting decoys around Minnesota and Wisconsin for years.
We hope to improve upon these efforts by working with our local customers and coffee shops to draw more attention to environmental issues and cooperate with them to reduce their waste and overall footprint as well.
Whatever our impact is locally, we also fully understand our global presence and the impact we have on people halfway around the world. Our continued involvement in the Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade and USDA Organic certification programs are but a beginning for us as we attempt to improve the lives and surroundings of those who work so hard to provide us with the coffee upon which we have built our livelihoods and reputations. We are committed to building upon that and encourage our community of customers to join us in participating.
Steps we have taken:
-Alakef Coffee first attained its Organic Certified status in 2000.
-We joined the Fair Trade program in 2001.
-We attained Kosher certification in 2004.
-We participate in the Trees for the Future (http://www.plant-trees.org/). Every year, through this program we plant enough trees in a coffee growing region of Honduras to help offset our carbon footprint.
-Most of our decomposable byproduct is recycled back into our community by way of the gardens and compost bins of our neighbors, area farmers, and local community garden programs. We recycle all paper, cans and plastics that we can divert from our garbage.
-Employees are encouraged to use minimum impact modes of transportation when traveling to and from the roasterie. We have one person who rides his bicycle throughout the year, even in the snow.
-Our commitment to making Alakef Coffee as environmentally and socially conscious as possible is ongoing. We will always investigate alternative energy programs to reduce our consumption and seek out new ways to further reduce our overall waste by making use of more environmentally friendly products and packaging as they become accessible to us.