Sustainably Grown Coffee: An Easy Way To Green Your Wedding
Rohan Marley, the son of Bob Marley, is the Founder and Chairman of Marley Coffee. He explains how incorporating organic, ethical or shade grown coffee into your wedding day is a simple way to go green and give back:
Love is everywhere on your wedding day—in the eyes of your partner, in the vows you’ll speak to each other, and in the hearts of your friends and family. That love is best captured by the simple phrase “I do.” As for me, I’m fortunate enough to feel love on a daily basis, as I run the coffee company I founded in 2007. And when people ask if I am dedicated to green principles in my business, I am proud to say “I do” as well!
Your wedding guests might or might not be coffee aficionados, but some of those in attendance are bound to ask you: “What kind of coffee are we drinking?” This gives you the ideal chance to explain why sustainability is important in coffee bean farming. You can also put a note by the drink buffet letting them know about your sustainable choice.
This is a topic about which I care deeply. When I started in the coffee business, I knew it was important to support local communities and the environment through a range of sustainable and ethical practices. All of the coffees my company produces are USDA organic and either Fair Trade Certified or certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
My attitude regarding the importance of sustainability is rooted in my experiences as a child. I remember my grandmother telling me stories about drying wild coffee berries in the sun, then hulling and roasting them for her own cup of coffee each morning.
I feel deeply imbued with the philanthropic spirit that my father celebrated through music. Operating a coffee company was my way to build a sustainable business where I am not only benefiting myself, but also creating an opportunity for coffee farmers. It gives me an exhilarating feeling that I can do something with my spirit where I am helping people, not just myself, but growing a community built on sustainability.
The importance of giving back to the community and supporting the environment are the two values that inform everything we do at my coffee company. We are intimately involved in a variety of community outreach activities, and have made sure that we source our beans in ways that have minimal impact on the environment. It also gives me great pride that I am able to provide opportunities to coffee farmers in my native Jamaica and at other sites where we source our beans. When it comes to distributing our products, we make sure that our partner companies share our values.
With my family business, I associate the word “ITAL,” which rhymes with—and is derived from—the English word “vital.” All of our products live up to the Rastafari standards of ITAL, standing for all things pure, true and vital, and which insists that all products are sustainably grown, ethically farmed and artisan roasted.
I believe it is important for a company to give back to the community in which it does business, and that a “green” strategy is relevant for any company whose business involves working with the land.
A wedding can be a memorably “green” occasion—and so can the coffee that goes along with those lifelong memories.
Contributed by Rohan Marley. For more information, visit www.marleycoffee.com.
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