WORLDWIDE, coffee drinkers consume about 2 billion cups of coffee every day; Americans alone drink close to 150 billion cups a year. According to the Water Footprint Network, which measures fresh water used to produce consumer goods, each cup of coffee requires the equivalent of a 16-minute shower to produce, from ground to cup. No wonder so many bags of beans now say as much about how the coffee was raised as they do about how it tastes.
According to Giles Gibbons, CEO of the British consulting firm Good Business, “Sustainable coffee flourishes because you know what you’re getting … from farms that are proud of their methods and dedicated to preserving their soil by not eroding topsoil, limit water consumption and by using natural alternatives to pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. ”