Kauai Coffee is committed to following environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices. We’re proud to be the largest drip irrigation coffee estate in the world with over 2,500 miles of drip tubing. Our efficient drip irrigation system applies water and fertilizers directly to the roots of the trees, so we do not have to spray or dust fertilizer on our coffee farm.
During the harvest period, we divert water from the drip irrigation system to the wet plant where it is used in processing. Because we only use our water in processing, it can easily be cleaned using a filter system and then reapplied to the coffee fields. Our cherry pulp and the mulch from pruning the coffee trees are put back into the land as soil amendments. In addition to adding nutrients to the soil of our coffee plantation, this mulch also serves to reduce weeds in the fields.
We plant contoured hedgerows and diversions to mitigate runoff and soil erosion; therefore the native forests and plants in our estate’s valleys and ravines are protected. We comply with all EPA regulations including the Clean Water & Clean Air laws.
At Kauai Coffee, we are fortunate our trees are not prone to disease and insects unlike other crops. We have the potential to reduce our herbicide use by 75% through our cultivation practices and our 3,100-acre coffee plantation is GMO free.
Cover Crop and Composting Program
With nearly 3,100 acres of coffee production, Kauai Coffee has instituted an orchard sustainability program that will create healthier soils, reduce synthetic fertilizer and herbicide use, reduce irrigation requirements, and produce even better coffee cup profiles. The two main components of the sustainability program are the use of farm-wide cover crop and a massive composting program.
Conversion to full cover crop orchard operations:
- We are combining grasses, nitrogen fixing legumes, and deep root plants to minimize or eliminate herbicide use, increase moisture retention, aid soil microbiology, and boost soil organic matter
- Healthier soil means healthier trees, better coffee fruit quality and ultimately better tasting coffee that’s also better for the earth
- Increased soil organic matter will reduce water requirements by nearly 20%
Beginning stages of an engineered composting program:
- Making the best use of approximately 4 million pounds of coffee fruit pulp and processing by-products
- 100% of the food and organic waste from our Visitor Center will be processed in the compost program
- Annual output would treat 450 acres per year, which is about 1/6th of our farm
- Potential to blend with 35,000 cubic yards of municipal green waste
- Carefully monitoring the compost to reach ideal thermophilic temperatures to sterilize weed seeds and supercharge the soil microbiology
- Compost will dramatically boost soil microbiology and add key micronutrients