As the coffee industry shifts toward fair trade practices and organic certification, more farmers are switching to organic and sustainable practices. But, what does that mean, and so how exactly does it affect the specific coffee? For answers to these questions and tips about to purchase gourmet organic coffee, keep reading.
What Does Organic Mean?
Organic coffee typically indicates it has been certified by the USDA and meets their stringent growing and harvesting standards for organic certification. Therefore, coffee that has been certified as organic has been farmed using methods that have a minimal impact on the surroundings and little to no reliance on chemical or unnatural methods.
Because coffee is harvested as a seed, buying organic has little-to-no health effects for the buyer. However, purchasing an organic beans means gourmet coffee beans you’re supporting green and sustainable farming methods.
Ethical or Fair Trade Purchasing
Fair trade certification focuses on the labor practices of the coffee farmer and manufacturer. By purchasing fair trade coffee, you’re supporting a trade standard that gives small-industry grower co-ops a typical price for their coffee.
While fair trade doesn’t carry exactly the same environmental standards as organic certification, they do ban the use of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) & most pesticides.
Who Makes Organic Coffee?
The Green Mountain Coffee Company is situated out of Vermont and is one of many country’s largest organic and fair trade coffee suppliers. They currently do the majority of their business as a supplier for office and workplace coffee needs, including K-Cups and instant coffee machines.
As a roaster and supplier of completely organic, fair trade coffee, this Australian coffee roaster was awarded the organization Green Globe Award by the prestigious Rainforest Alliance.
They sell a range of coffees and roasts while fulfilling their commitment to ethical environmental and social business practices.
Jim’s Organic Coffee makes a variety of blends and roasts that are certified organic and fair trade. The company also sells a Rainforest blend that’s shade grown and certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This means the farming methods used to cultivate the coffee don’t destroy natural habitats or the existing rainforest ecosystem around the plantation.
Starbucks, a major coffee retailer everywhere, carries three kinds of organic coffee. They stock their Shade Grown Mexican, Organic Serena Blend and their very own Organic Sumatra-Peru blend.