Organic Coffee

What are the Qualifiers for Organic Coffee?

When it comes to the modern food industry, it seems the term “organic” is popping up everywhere. Whether you wish to buy popcorn or vegetables, organic options are ever-present. While there is a basic-level of understanding among most consumers, many are confused regarding what this term actually means? Moreover, how does organic growing methods affect the coffee industry? Is there really a difference between organic coffee and non-organic brands?

In layman’s terms, organic coffee simply refers to the cultivation and harvesting methods used to produce coffee beans. When this term is used, it’s basically stating that the growing methods used did not harm the environment and through the implementation of fertilizers, chemicals or pesticides. Ultimately, what attracts consumers to organic coffee is the lack of potentially harmful compounds found in the majority of commercially produced food items.

Organic vs Certified Organic Coffee

In order for coffee to be labeled organic, it must pass unique certification requirements. However, this is where things become sticky. There are literally hundreds of coffee brands that claim to be organic, but the reality is far from the truth. In fact, retailers may tout their products as being “organic,” when in fact they still use chemicals and other forms of pesticides throughout the cultivation and harvesting process.

There is a massive amount of confusion regarding organic and certified organic. If a coffee label simply says “organic” it’s quite likely this coffee is not in fact organic. Rather, these manufacturer’s choose to use this term as a means of attracting “health conscious” consumers who are willing to pay a higher price for naturally grown and cultivated products. This deceptive practice is under legal scrutiny, but because the label did not state “certified organic” there is very little recourse. Therefore, it’s imperative that you don’t simply choose a coffee labeled organic, but rather “certified organic.”

Organic Coffee Certification Process

There are many third-party organizations that oversee the certification process of labeling a coffee product organic. Generally, coffee plantations can only receive this certification if their growing methods are currently void of chemicals and pesticides. If the farmer used chemicals in the past, the farm must sustain from chemical fertilizers and pesticides for at least three years before it can be considered for organic certification. Moreover, if the farm plans on growing organic and non-organic coffee, there must be a significant amount of space between each crop to prevent chemical contamination among the organic coffee bushes. Along with sustaining from chemicals, coffee farmers must utilize growing techniques that are sustainable. One of the most common grow techniques that’s required for organic certification is to rotate crop location. By rotating annual crops, it prevents the soil from becoming over-used and depleting its nutrients.

If you are interested in purchasing fair trade organic coffee, you can buy Driven Coffee online. This is just one example of many different coffee companies that carry certified organic fair trade coffees.

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