Chimp-Friendly, Fair Trade Coffee

It makes my day to learn that Jane Goodall launched a new line of “chimp-friendly,” fair trade coffee to call attention to environmental degradation and fund raise for the Jane Goodall institute (JGI). The Gombe Special Reserve line will be marketed throughout the United States by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and 10 percent of the sales proceeds will go to the JGI.

Chimps don’t drink coffee; they won’t eat the fruit or leaves, or even linger in areas dense with coffee plants. That’s a good thing, says Jane Goodall. “Coffee can act as a buffer to protect chimps and people from each other,” and minimize the exposure to disease that threatens chimps, she says.

“I realized that some of the best coffee was being grown in the high hills [in Kigoma], but the growers weren’t making any money,” Goodall says. “How can we think of [making arguments for] saving the chimp beings if the human population around is clearly struggling to survive? There are more people than the land can support with current practices.”

Goodall has been a heroine of mine since my college days when I learned about her goods works through an anthropology elective.

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