Rohan Marley of Marley Coffee
Founded by Bob Marley’s son, Rohan, Marley Coffee is a sustainably grown, ethically farmed and artisan roasted coffee which has just launched in the UK with three premium organic blends in keeping with his goal of producing ethical coffees inspired by his reggae heritage and beliefs.
All Marley Coffee products live up to the Rastafari standards of ITAL, standing for all things Pure, True and Vital, which insists that all products are sustainably grown, ethically farmed and artisan roasted. A portion of every sale of Marley Coffee supports Kicks for Cause. Started by Marley Coffee, Kicks for Cause is a programme that aims to build playable soccer fields and soccer camps for children of coffee-producing communities in Jamaica and beyond. Marley Coffee is also a supporter of 1Love.org, which was started with the Marley family to support youth, planet and peace.
Can you give a short history of how you got to where you are now, including why and when you 'went organic'?
The idea of farming was always interesting to me growing up as a child because my father, my mother and my grandmother would talk about it quite a bit. When I lived in Miami, we had a garden in the backyard where we grew all types of fruits and vegetables. I vividly remember my grandmother drying wild coffee berries in the sun, then hulling and roasting them for her own cup of coffee each morning.
During the past ten plus years, I’ve travelled all over the world educating myself and working with others to research and discover the best organic farming methods, principles, new technology, seeds, etc. to help grow and produce not only the best coffee, but all kinds of fruits and vegetables in a more sustainable, earth-friendly way that creates a better world for farmers, farming communities and the world as a whole. When I'm not travelling, you can often find me at a computer doing research to ensure we are always tuned in to the latest news that could impact the way we farm and conduct our business.
What's the main benefit of being organic for you?
It is my hope that the Marley Coffee farm in Jamaica will inspire other Jamaican farmers and those in other coffee growing regions to join the organic movement, by showing them that sustainable farming can be profitable. And in fact, be more affordable than conventional farming. Our Jamaica Blue Mountain beans are shade-grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees at an elevation of over 3,000 feet, without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers or other additives. Biodiversity and organic farming methods make for healthier soil, prevent water contamination, provide habitat for dozens of species of migratory birds, and form a critical component of the coffee's exceptional flavour. Providing a living wage to farmers is not only the humane thing to do, it also is one of the critical factors for creating and continuing sustainable farming practices. When farmers become impoverished, they are often left with no choice but to increase yield by using inexpensive, low-quality chemical fertilisers and pesticides. By investing in our farmers' continued well-being, we are also investing in the continued well-being of our farms and our precious trees.
Find out more about Marley Coffee
I find great joy knowing that we are supporting the communities in which our coffee is grown as well as promoting key pillars of youth, planet and peace that are true to my own and my family's values.Rohan Marley