WWF steps in to help in Laos
It is a side of coffee production that is rarely, if ever talked about: – the impact coffee growing, and extraction has on the local population who grows it.
The people of Laos in South East Asia have benefited greatly from growing coffee and it is a superb source of income for the country. 90 percent of Laos’ coffee bean production is in the areas around Paksong and Thatheng, but this production has had a detrimental effect on the local population’s health.
Untreated waste products have polluted the water of the Bolaven Plateau. In making Arabica coffee a wet process to clean the beans and strip them of some of their material produces a great deal of waste, undrinkable water. It is high in sugar content which depletes the biological oxygen in the water and kills native species on which the environment and the people living in the area depend.
The good news is that the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) has recognised the area as in urgent need and assistance in returning the fertility back to the soils and rivers of this rugged location in the Annamite Mountains. WWF has teamed up with Oxfam to provide manageable solutions to the people of the area whilst still growing the coffee crops on which their communities now rely.