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 where you can find gourmet organic coffee, continue reading.
What Does Organic Mean?
Organic coffee typically indicates it’s been certified by the USDA and meets their stringent growing and harvesting standards for organic certification. Therefore, coffee that is certified as organic has been farmed using methods which have a minimal impact on the environment 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 you’re supporting environmentally friendly 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 best organic coffee environmental standards as organic certification, they do ban the utilization of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and most pesticides.
Who Makes Organic Coffee?
The Green Mountain Coffee Company is based out of Vermont and is one of the 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 100 percent 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 range 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 round the plantation.
Starbucks, a major coffee retailer around the world, carries three forms of organic coffee. They stock their Shade Grown Mexican, Organic Serena Blend and their very own Organic Sumatra-Peru blend.