Bee-Saving In Costa Rica

Thanks to Rainforest Alliance, who sent its polite email asking whether we wanted to stay on their mailing list. Of course we do (but thanks for asking) because we believe in their work. And we have believed for a long time. Too long since our last post referencing them, but see this:

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Liz Paniagua, Co-founder Api-Agricultura

Introducing Costa Rican pro surfer Carlos Cortes and his partner Liz Paniagua. The husband-wife-apiarist-activist team is part of a growing movement working to save bees from the global crisis of colony collapse.

Their bee rescue organization, Api-Agricultura, works with a model Rainforest Alliance Certified banana farm in Costa Rica to save bee colonies from destruction and educate local communities about the importance of bees. By encouraging others to live in harmony with nature, Carlos and Liz exemplify the Costa Rican ethos of “pura vida.”  Continue reading

Certification of Sustainability

Unlike most of my other posts, practically all the hyperlinks in this post link to an aptly corresponding webpage instead of a picture I took. Also, please note that my previous post on the reserve at La Cumplida has been corrected. You can find the corrections in bold at the top of the post.

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La Cumplida’s coffee farm is accredited by UTZ CERTIFIED and Rainforest Alliance. These two organizations are worldwide leaders in assessing and monitoring sustainable practices. UTZ is solely concerned with agriculture—coffee, cacao, and tea farms, mostly. The group states that through their standards, farmers see increases in productivity, efficiency, and quality:

Productivity

“In 2007, before being certified, my farm of 2.1 hectares produced 7,000 pounds of parchment. Now, in 2009, I have a productivity of 11,000 pounds. That represents an income increase.” (Cooperativa San José El Obrero, Guatemala)

Efficiency

“Before certification I fertilized 3 times a year with 80 grammes per plant, now I fertilize two times a year and apply 100 grammes per plant; with this measure I saved labor and fertilizers, while farm productivity has not been affected. Savings have been US $39 / ha”. (Cooperativa Anserma, Colombia)

Quality

The percentage of Class 3 & 4, which fetch better prices, has increased above 80% since certification, unlike 2006/2007 when they only produced 26.1% of class 4. (Rianjagi Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society (RFCS), Kenya)

Continue reading