About Café Mam
Since 1990, Café Mam (say 'mom') has been committed to sourcing only Fair Trade, organic and shade-grown coffee from indigenous cooperatives. Café Mam coffee is grown by native Maya farmers living in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. The growers, primarily of the Mam, Tzetzal and Mochó peoples, are organized according to egalitarian democratic ideals that emphasize hard work, responsibility to the cooperative, and high standards. The cooperatives' programs provide countless benefits to outlying native communities.
The farmers believe that by taking care of the soil, they are taking care of the entire biosystem. Their beliefs and sustainable approaches to agriculture benefit their communities in many positive ways. Café Mam farmers seek to conserve and rebuild the natural environment and work toward a higher quality of life for their families.
Each purchase of Café Mam coffee helps support these goals:
- Honoring and healing the earth
- Self-sufficiency and political independence
- Sustainable development of rural communities
- Child welfare, including education & nutrition
- Defense of indigenous cultural identity
- Education in organic agriculture
- Promotion of progressive groups
100% Organically Grown
The farmers of Café Mam coffee encourage plant growth by practicing terracing, composting, and regenerative pruning. They must also plant leguminous shade trees and establish a seedling nursery before their harvest is classified as organic. Beneficial insects are used to control one of the most damaging coffee pests, la broca - a tiny beetle. The farmers use biological remedies for plant diseases and pests.
Each sack of coffee has an 'audit trail' to ensure that it does not contact any chemicals in the growing, cleaning, drying, milling, bagging, transport, shipping, import customs, USDA inspection, warehousing, roasting or packaging process. The entire process is certified 100% organic by Oregon Tilth. In many years of residue testing, no pesticides or herbicides have ever been detected. Café Mam's decaf, Swiss Water Process, is also a certified organic process. We feel confident in stating that our coffee is free of contaminants.
100% Fairly Traded
The cornerstone of Café Mam's social responsibility has been our recognition of a living wage based coffee price. The price per pound of coffee paid to the farmers has been calculated to sustain and support a family in the region. Café Mam supports farmers who have made a commitment to better their social and natural environment.
Café Mam beans are Fair Trade Certified™ by Fair Trade USA, an independent certifying agency, and certified by the Small Producers' Symbol (SPP), an intercontinental network of ecological small-producer organizations. Fair trade guarantees livable wages for farmers and their families, improving their opportunities for better healthcare, housing, and education. By choosing this fairly traded coffee, you are directly contributing to the livelihood of coffee growing communities.
Shade Grown = Healthy Birds
Most high-yielding coffee trees are sun-grown and sprayed aerially. Such farming techniques destroy the forests, which are winter homes to millions of North American songbirds. Café Mam farmers preserve the jungle canopy by growing in the shade, which protects the biological diversity of plants and animals vital to the migratory bird population. Farmers build terraces to conserve rainwater and reduce runoff, which in turn prevents erosion, and protects paths and creeks.
We are committed to providing our customers with 100% recyclable or compostable packaging materials! To this end, we use a natural Kraft paper, lined with a compostable liner for all of our bag sizes. To compost, simply remove the tin tie, and put in your compost or send to your municipal composting facility. Please recycle the shipping boxes with your cardboard.
Coffee and the Recovery of Life
Native Maya farmers living in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico grow Café Mam (pronounced "mom") coffee. The growers, primarily from the Mam, Tzetzal, and Mochó peoples, believe that by taking care of the soil, they are taking care of the entire biosystem. Their beliefs and sustainable approach to agriculture benefit their communities in many positive ways.
A number of pesticides have been banned in the United States but are still used in third world countries. Many non-organic coffee growers routinely use these poisonous chemicals. These toxins can contaminate the coffee, the growers, and the groundwater where the coffee is grown. Banned pesticides re-entering the United States on imported produce have been referred to as the "circle of poison." By using only organic farming practices, Café Mam farmers do not support the polluting chemical industry. "Rechazamos las technologias del muerte" (We reject the technologies of death), is a slogan taken from an ISMAM banner.
The principles of sustainability influence all aspects of our business. The exclusive use of certified organic coffee is essential. We are committed to using recycled materials, and materials that are readily recyclable, everywhere we can. All of our coffee is packaged in natural Kraft bags with compostable, plant-based linings and are 100% compostable and biodegradable (except for the tin ties).
We also use recycled, unbleached boxes to ship our coffee to you. And all of our printing paper is made from 100% post-consumer, recycled office waste. To lessen our dependence on a petroleum-based economy and transportation, we fuel our delivery vehicles with biodiesel, a clean burning diesel fuel made from vegetable oil. We source our biodiesel from SeQuential BioFuels, a local Eugene company that sources only locally-produced biofuels. For more information, visit their website: www.sqbiofuels.com.
Social & Environmental Reform
Royal Blue Organics donates 2% of Café Mam sales (over $900 thousand donated since our inception) to nonprofit organizations dedicated to organic agriculture, social justice, and environmental causes.
One of the major benefactors is the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP); a leader for more than 25 years in reducing poisons on our planet. NCAP publishes the quarterly Journal of Pesticide Reform. NCAP, a membership organization, is a great resource to obtain unbiased data on the effects and formulations of pesticides. They offer information on hundreds of pesticides and alternatives for many pest problems, and also provide direct assistance and referrals for pesticide exposure victims.
In addition to donating 2% of sales to nonprofit organizations dedicated to organic agriculture, social justice, and environmental causes, Café Mam supports many other nonprofit organizations through in-kind coffee donations. Below is a list of links to some of the organizations that we have supported over the years.
- Aprovecho Research Institute - www.aprovecho.net
- Beyond Pesticides - www.beyondpesticides.org
- Bioneers - www.bioneers.org
- Cascadia Wildlands - www.cascwild.org
- Center for a New American Dream - www.newdream.org
- Civil Liberties Defense Center - www.cldc.org
- Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council - www.coastfork.org
- Community Alliance with Family Farmers - www.caff.org
- Community Coalition for Environmental Justice - www.ccej.org
- Earth Charter - www.earthcharter.org
- Ecological Farming Association - www.eco-farm.org
- Honor the Earth - www.honorearth.org
- Kind Tree Productions, Inc. - www.kindtree.org
- Maya Educational Foundation - www.mayaedufound.org
- McKenzie River Trust - www.mckenzieriver.org
- Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council - www.mfwwc.org
- Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides - www.pesticide.org
- Seed Matters - www.seedmatters.org
- Oregon Organic Coalition - www.oregonorganiccoalition.org
- Oregon Tilth - www.tilth.org
- Oregon Wild - www.oregonwild.org
- Organic Farming Research Foundation - www.ofrf.org
- Organic Seed Alliance - www.seedalliance.org
- Organicology - www.organicology.org
- Power of Hope - www.powerofhope.org
- Provender Alliance - www.provender.org
- Reach Community Development Inc. - www.reachcdc.org
- Siskiyou Field Institute - www.thesfi.org
- Salmonid Restoration Federation - www.calsalmon.org
- Willamette Farm & Food Coalition - www.lanefood.org
- Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance - www.sustainableeugene.com
For more information about our donation program contact us at (888)- Café-Mam!
There’s a lot of love here and a lot of appreciation of each other at Café Mam. The love extends to the Mam peoples, the earth from which the coffee grows, the birds that make their winter homes in the native trees above the coffee, what we are doing, and what we are creating. At risk of sounding just plain corny, we would venture to say that this love is the secret ingredient that makes Café Mam taste better than anything else out there.
Café Mam starts with a simple and revolutionary idea: Let’s care for and identify with the people who grow this coffee. And we don’t stop there. As much as possible, we make conscious decisions with the interests of the planet and all of her offspring in mind. So, for people who love coffee, can’t grow or roast their own, we give you Café Mam.