At Watermark, we are committed to running our business in a way that minimises our environmental impact. This is an unrelenting process that requires a lot of thought and vigilance but we’re up for the challenge!! As a person who has always been deeply interested in the natural world, I feel that our business has an opportunity to do more than just minimise our environmental impact in a way that is meaningful, transparent, and measurable.
Buoyed on by the success and response to our Woodland Coffee initiative, launched in 2020, I felt that I wanted to do a project that involves my love of coffee and the sea. After 3 years, which involved a lot of research, planning, scrapping plans, starting over, more research, negotiating, refinement of ideas, the output of this process is a new coffee brand called Green Ocean Coffee.
Making Green Ocean Coffee a reality!
While getting to this stage has not been straightforward; the idea behind Green Ocean Coffee is simple; for each bag of Green Ocean Coffee purchased, 1 square metre of seabed will be restored to promote the development of oyster and sea grass reefs in Clew Bay Co Mayo, Ireland. We have partnered with Clew Bay Oyster Co-Op to restore 180 hectares of ancient fishing grounds in Clew Bay which are now closed to fishing and are designated as special areas of conservation (SAC). The restoration involves creating a habitat that allows for oysters, and in turn seagrass to re-establish. This habitat is wonderful for expanding biodiversity as oyster reefs and seagrass beds provide excellent nursery grounds for juvenile fish and marine invertebrates. Below is a video introduction on Green Ocean Coffee. There is a lot more information on the website www.greenoceancoffee.ie (Click here to link)
The Coffee itself
We have selected a different style of coffee for our Green Ocean blends favouring more medium and lighter roasts that are a combination of single origin and multi farm blends. The coffee is sourced directly from the coffee farmer, and we have chosen these based on quality but also for the progressive production and sustainability values that the farmers represent. I invite you to read about these farmers like Charles Mutwiri in Kenya who is a changemaker in terms of developing a profitable business that provide opportunities for his community while also championing female participation in the coffee industry.
Apart from amazing coffee, this is a truly wonderful project on so many levels. The oceans play such an important role in regulating the earth’s temperature and in absorbing atmospheric carbon. Sea grass and shellfish play a pivotal role in sequestering carbon at a speed which is unrivalled by the rainforest or anywhere else in the natural world. A healthy coastal habitat is critical in decarbonising food production and provides a focal point for tourism that benefits everyone.
We have had tremendous help from our friends in Ocean Divers, namely Monica Schaefer, Willie Siddel and Brian Murphy, Geoff Robinson in Bord Iascaigh Mhara and of course Alex Blackwell and Michael Mulloy of Clew Bay Oyster Co-Op. Their enthusiasm and knowledge have helped make Green Ocean Coffee a reality.
Green Ocean Coffee is a positive environmental action initiative aimed at ‘changemaker’ businesses that want amazing speciality grade coffee but also want to make a meaningful and measurable difference. If you think Green Ocean Coffee would suit you and your office or cafe, then we would love to hear from you so we can arrange a coffee tasting and you can find out more about us and Green Ocean Coffee. If you just want a bag to try at home then click here for the shop. I really hope that you can get behind this super project and be apart of this exciting journey.
David Lawlor, CEO
Like to get involved? This is why you should!