This Daily Ritual Can Help Save Wildlife

08 October 2022

Zoos Victoria has brewed up a new way for coffee-loving Melburnians to help save wildlife.

Orangutans, monkeys and tree kangaroos will directly benefit from the four varieties of shade-grown Arabica coffee launched by Zoos Victoria today in partnership with Melbourne-based family-owned business Genovese Coffee. 

Melburnians consume more than 22 million cups of coffee at home each week, however this can impact biodiversity through the clearing of forests. 

Zoos Victoria CEO Dr Jenny Gray said shade-grown Coffee for Wildlife products support farmers, protect forests and save wildlife. The beans are sourced from partners in Ethiopia, Sumatra and Papua New Guinea who know the importance of wildlife conservation. 

“Rainforests are rich in biodiversity - that is where you get all kinds of amazing animals living,” Dr Gray said. “That is why we have looked for farmers with the same ethic we have, the same ethic of protecting biodiversity into the future.”

Rather than rapidly growing coffee in the sun, which removes habitat where wildlife lives, shade-grown Coffee for Wildlife is grown beneath rainforest tree canopies. While it takes longer for the coffee to ripen in the shade, this also produces more complex and delicious flavours and, importantly, preserves precious wildlife habitat.   

Genovese Coffee Managing Director Adam Genovese said this shade-grown form of coffee production provides a livelihood to millions of people around the world. 

“When grown in a genuinely sustainable way, coffee plantations can benefit the environment, support local communities, and produce a great brew,” Mr Genovese said.  

Dr Gray says we can all play a role in protecting the planet’s biodiversity - whether that’s through the coffee we consume or any other product we purchase. 

“What we can do with every purchase is think carefully about its impact. We have done some of that thinking for you through Coffee for Wildlife products. So, we have sourced coffee that is good for wildlife and good for you.” 

The Zoo’s Ethiopian coffee is a chocolatey single origin from the forests of Ethiopia, while protecting the home of vulnerable Vervet Monkeys. The Sumatran beans have a spice and herbal freshness, and are sourced to protect Orangutan habitat. The Papua New Guinean coffee has a honey sweetness with a hint of almond and helps protect species including the Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo. The Survival Blend is a unique blend of all three single origin coffees that tastes like bergamot and blueberry with a light body and mild acidity. 

Coffee for Wildlife products are packaged in certified at-home compostable bags, which are biodegradable along with the coffee grounds. All coffee consumed at Zoos Victoria is served in biodegradable cups, with the cups, coffee grounds, and Coffee for Wildlife packaging processed in the Zoo’s industrial composter.  

Coffee for Wildlife products can be purchased at Zoos Victoria shops, the online Zoo store and Genovese.