Tiny Footprint Coffee, a large provider for coffee on Macalester’s campus, launched a Kickstarter campaign on Oct. 13 to help fund the build-out of a sustainable coffee farm in the Ecuadorian cloud forest.
The Kickstarter campaign, which Kickstarter chose as a “Staff Pick” in the campaign’s first 36 hours, is attempting to raise $66,000 to purchase a micro wet mill and drying beds for their production in the Tandayapa Valley of Ecuador and to promoting ecotourism in the area. Their campaign is just the latest step in their efforts toward being a sustainable and “Earth-positive” company.
Mac alum Joe Huber ’15, Executive Sales and Marketing Assistant for Tiny Footprint, described how the company has tried to be cognizant of the impact their product has in an email to The Mac Weekly.
“It takes 4 [pounds] of CO2 to produce and distribute 1 [pound] of our coffee,” Huber said. “For every pound that’s sold, we fund reforestation on clear cut land in Ecuador’s Mindo cloud forest. Over time, these trees will remove 54 [pounds] of CO2 from the atmosphere; hence more CO2 removed than emitted—carbon negative coffee.” Huber said Tiny Footprint views protecting the local habitat as much of a priority as growing coffee.
“Another priority is adding 30,000 square meters of new trees that will provide the habitat for countless birds, mammals and amphibians that call this area home,” Huber said. “Our efforts in rebuilding the Mindo cloud forest also mean we are helping to rebuild one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet.” Huber also said that Macalester and Tiny Footprint share more than just a business arrangement.
“Tiny Footprint Coffee is a company that shares the same values as students and the college share,” Huber said. “Our company is built on a firm commitment to combating climate change through more than offsetting our carbon footprint, enhancing sustainable practices through purchasing certified organic and often shade-grown coffee (meaning that trees were not cut down to provide land to grow coffee), and ensuring that the workers at the farms we purchase coffee from are fairly treated and paid.”
“We at Tiny Footprint Coffee love working with Macalester not only because they share our values but also we can help them achieve their sustainability goals in terms of responsible food sourcing and offsetting the college’s carbon footprint,” Huber said.
At the time of publication, the campaign has raised $13,275 of their $66,000 goal. Donate (and see what rewards you can get for donating!) by visiting the Kickstarter campaign page.