US coffee company looks to ship green beans via sailing ship

American coffee roasters Thanksgiving Coffee Company announced on 10 September it would partner with Carrotmob to raise support for a new project: shipping coffee from Nicaragua and Peru into Fort Braggʼs Noyo Harbor on sailing ships. Since virtually all coffee is grown within 1600 kilometres from the equator, green coffee is currently shipped from its origin on large container ships, which burn bunker fuel, a low-grade form of diesel that emits vast amounts of smog-forming pollution and carbon dioxide, Thanksgiving coffee said in a statement. The US-based company said it is interested in moving away from this practice by being the first company to ship coffee by wind and lowering its carbon footprint. Carrotmob is a San Francisco-based organisation dedicated to advancing sustainable business practices. In a Carrotmob campaign, a group of people offer to spend their money to support a business, and in return the business agrees to take an action.  If the Thanksgiving Coffee Company campaign generates at least US$150,000 in coffee sales during its 20-day run, the company said it will have enough resources to begin to ship coffee by wind. “Our first step will be to conduct a feasibility study to assess the costs, efficiency and risks involved in transporting our coffee beans on sailing ships,” says Ben Corey-Moran, President and Director of Coffee. If the campaign doesnʼt reach the US$150,000 goal, the funds raised for this effort will be directed toward the Resilience Fund – a non-profit social venture that funds sustainability projects in coffee-growing regions. Thanksgiving Coffee has a history of sustainability projects. In 2001, the company worked with an organisation called Trees for the Future to plant 22,500 trees in Ethiopia, in order to offset their carbon dioxide emissions. Since 2004 the company has been supporting a project helping Rwandan Coffee Farmers adapt to the effect that climate change is having on their coffee crops. The project aims to preserve coffee farming as a viable way of life for Rwandan farmers by educating them about the effects of climate change, establishing seedling nurseries and incentivising the planting of trees that retain moisture in the soil, which buffers coffee trees from changing weather patterns. In 2012, this project received the Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. For more information or to support the Carrotmob campaign, visit

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