Practicing Sustainability, One Cup of Coffee at a Time


Desert Sun Coffee Roasters, a local coffee-roasting company, was founded on the belief that sustainably-sourced coffee is better for the environment, for the farmers, and for the consumers. Since the company began in 2004, Desert Sun has partnered with other coffee roasters in a co-op dedicated to fair trade practices, supporting smaller coffee farmers, and environmentally-friendly practices at every step of the supply chain. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by Tafoya Barret and Associates and Kroegers Ace Hardware

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Did you know that Americans drink around 146 billion cups of coffee a year? Desert Sun Coffee Roasters is on a mission to ensure that each cup is sustainably produced. From farming, fair trade buying practices and environmentally friendly delivery, from bean to bag. You're watching The Local News Network brought to you by Tafoya, Barrett and Associates and Kroger's ACE Hardware. I'm Hannah Robertson.

Why is Desert Sun? Why do we do what we do? Why do anything? Why go to work? Why, usually it's because we have some set of values and beliefs that drive us forward. And one of the why's behind Desert Sun is how we source our product sustainably and relationships. As you can see, we have pictures up around here that are places that we've been to visit. We are the only roaster owned importing cooperative or we are member owner of the only roaster owned importing cooperative on the continent. Where we partner with other roasters to source our own coffee, pay far above minimum fair trade minimum prices. And we use a little bit of additional money, which we put into a fund called the Carbon Climate and Coffee Initiative. So why do we, why is Desert Sun always is a more intriguing question to me because why do we do what we do? We do it because we feel like the act of participating in a sustainably, a sustainably sourced product allows our daily contributions to do the right thing for adapting to climate change and for the people that are involved in the supply chain.

In 2004, the founder of Desert Sun wanted to connect people with the producers, farmers and products. The company is part of Co-op Coffees, 23 coffee roasters across North America who have pledged to fair trade practices with the farmers who grow the coffee. Additionally, the Co-op encourages environmentally friendly practices, like composting and carbon sequestering, to help offset the emissions produced by the coffee distribution chain. Instead of large coffee plantations, Co-op Coffee members use smaller farms and farmers making sure to pay fair wage for the labor and offer support beyond simply buying the coffee produced by the farms. When partner farms in South America were hit by a blight that affected coffee trees, Desert Sun provided funds to help replace diseased trees and help with other recovery efforts.

Helping them navigate a scenario that was unprecedented so they can continue to provide quality product for us. So we started to put aside a little bit of money, 3 cents per pound, into what we call the Impact Fund. And that money was used to support producers in learning what types of species are better at mitigating or surviving the rust. We put a lot of that money into helping producers learn how to do organic composting methods. 'Cuz as we know, a healthier plant is more likely to survive. We also use some of that money to plant nurseries and help people with nurseries. And that fund has since evolved into our Carbon, Climate and Coffee Initiative.

The unassuming warehouse where Desert Sun roasts and prepares its coffee belies the work beyond aromatic roasting. In 2020, Desert Sun received the Specialty Coffee Association Sustainability Award for promoting sustainability among coffee producers. From fruit to bean to bag to first brew, Desert Sun has made a commitment to produce quality coffee that helps the environment and the consumer.

If there was one thing I wanted people to know about Desert Sun coffee, it's they can trust that us as their personal roaster are doing everything in our power to source the most sustainable and highest quality coffee available on the market. And that we care and that they can trust that we are going to do the best we can as a business to be an ethical and responsible business so that they don't have to worry on their end. And I know it's cliche, they can change the world themselves one cup at a time by supporting what we're up to.

To learn more about Desert Sun and their products, visit or find their coffees at local grocery stores and restaurants. Thank you for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Hannah Robertson.


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