Costa Rica is recognized worldwide as a leader in environmental sustainability. This means that they have ongoing initiatives, such as their Biosphere Reserve program and their Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program, which aim to protect all of the magnificent land and life that Costa Rica has to offer. The Biosphere Reserve program preserves designated locations for sustainable development where interactions between social and ecological systems can be studied and understood to improve the overall well-being of the entire country’s environments. The CST program rates businesses on a scale of 0 to 5 to describe the relative sustainability of the business, allowing consumers to be more knowledgeable about the companies that they buy from. Both of these programs exhibit Costa Rica’s immense commitment to sustainability. The country’s focus on sustainability elicits the perception that Costa Rica is a more progressive country than most since it not only recognizes the necessity to protect its environment but also acts on that necessity accordingly.
Although coffee is not the first industry to appear when researching Costa Rica’s sustainability efforts, a few coffee companies in Costa Rica do take sustainability seriously. For example, Doka Estate Coffee, a company which we will visit during our trip, strives to preserve trees and eliminate pesticide use in order to keep the environment surrounding its coffee plantation healthy. As a result, not only does the wildlife nearby the plantation thrive, but Doka’s coffee prices have increased as a result of their sustainable business practices. This could be due to programs such as the CST which signal the quality of Doka’s coffee and business practices to consumers.
Despite never drinking coffee on a regular basis, I am interested in discovering just how the enormous coffee industry operates at every facet of the product’s development. In addition to coffee, I am excited to learn about the Costa Rican culture and way of life. I can’t wait to meet Costa Rican people, learn more about the quality coffee that the country creates, and maybe even play some fútbol while I’m there, all just a few days away!