Free Trade or green coffee is a just and reasonable partnership between consumers
and coffee producers. The major objective of Free Trade coffee is to guarantee that the coffee producers, who are
mostly poor small holders, get an equitable share of the coffee market ...
Drinking Green Coffee Helps Coffee Producers
First of all, drinking green coffee is nothing like drinking green tea. Green coffee is not a
type of beverage, a brand, or a trademark. Green coffee is an expression often used to describe Free Trade
Free Trade or green coffee is a just and reasonable partnership between coffee consumers and
coffee producers. The major objective of Free Trade coffee is to guarantee that the coffee producers, who are
mostly poor small holders, get an equitable share of the coffee market. This is achieved by guaranteeing them
enough of a share to earn a living wage. Until now, the coffee farmers have been earning only enough money to keep
them impoverished. When you buy Fair Trade Certified coffee, you are purchasing a product that is guaranteed to
have been produced under fair labor practices.
Part of the money collected for farmers through green coffee is used to encourage good
environmental stewardship. Many of these coffee producers have been forced, through economics, to give up their
traditional farms to large corporate interests. With the extra money they earn participating in Fair Trade
economics they are able to continue their time-honored traditions of farming processes and practices that preserve
the environment. This is the point at which fair trade coffee becomes green coffee.
It is also important to note that the additional funds earned by farmers through green coffee
are directed at health care, economic independence, and education. It should be the responsibility of all consumers
to know that the products they buy ensure quality of life to the people who produce them.
The majority of Fair trade coffee producers are very small farmers who produce their product on
small plots of land using centuries old organic traditions that have no negative impact on the environment. By
purchasing green coffee, you guarantee that such personal stewardship of the earth continues. It is vitally
important that these small farmers not be pushed out by huge corporate growers, who will clear forests by the
thousands of acres and use pesticides and chemical fertilizers in their fields.
Fair Trade coffee producers are, by and large, organic coffee producers. It is estimated that
85% of fair trade coffee is organic and shade grown coffee. You can purchase Fair Trade Organic Coffee that is
guaranteed not only to participate in the Fair Trade movement, but to also be organically grown. Again, buying such
green coffee guarantees that farmers who have practiced earth-sustainable growing processes for hundreds, if not
thousands of years, will be able to earn enough of a wage to successfully continue farming their coffee. Under such
circumstances green consumers help to guarantee that these farming techniques will continue to be passed down from
generation to generation and guarantee a successful way of life for good, responsible stewards of the earth.
It is good news to report that the Fair Trade coffee movement has met with so much success that
the same Fair Trade economics is being applied to tea and chocolate producers. So now you can drink green coffee
and green tea comfortable in the knowledge that it is being turned out in an earth sustainable manner and bringing
quality of life to its producers.
Organic Fair Trade
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The mission of Organic Coffee production is to create a verified sustainable agriculture system
that produces coffee in harmony with nature, supports biodiversity and enhances soil health.
"Organic" certification traces back to 19th century practices formulated in England, India and
the US. Since 1967 it has developed into an internationally recognized system with organic coffee production
throughout the world. This certification has more than 40 nations supplying the global market with organic coffee,
more than any other certification.
What is Organic Coffee production?
Organic coffee beans, produced without the use of pesticides or herbicides, are beneficial to both the
producer and the consumer.
Certified organic production emphasizes recycling, composting, soil health and protection of the
These practices turn out to be cost effective and socially responsible.
The soil is enriched with compost, green manure and organic amendments.
Weeds and pests are controlled through crop rotation.
Beneficial insects and selective use of natural, non-chemical pesticides are common practice in organic
agriculture. Organic coffee is shade grown.
The yield tends to be lower than non-organic coffee but the quality is superior, thus justifying the
Organic coffee growers are committed to the environment and to the people living in the land.
Another way to describe organic growth practices is sustainable farming. What does this
Organic farming reduces pollution and uses renewable resources whenever possible.
For example, a sustainable, organic farm will reuse coffee husks as heating fuel instead of cutting
The same farm will plant trees to replace those used for heating or other purposes.
The organic coffee farmer will minimize water consumption and recycle used water.
Organic, sustainable coffee farming recommended practices emphasize education and higher wages for
workers as well as improved working conditions.
There are differences in organic procedures from one farm to the next as well as from region to region
and country to country.
However, certifications are a big positive step towards improving life conditions and coffee trade
Organic Coffee certification is a growing one with high acceptability among farmers, workers and
consumers. Organic certified coffees include, for example, Colombian Supremo Organic, Peruvian Shade Grown Organic,
and Salvador High Grown Organic. There are differences between the coffees well worth tasting.
Colombian Supremo Organic offers full flavor coffee that is naturally exquisite and fresh with a
"clean" rich taste. Salvador High Grown Organic has a rich flavor and aroma. It is bright on the tongue
with a clean finish and is considered a rare coffee.
Peruvian Shade Grown Organic is shade grown using traditional organic methods on the eastern Andean
slopes and is fairly traded. This coffee has a rich aroma, bright acidity, milder semi-sweet flavor,
and medium body.
So, what about a cup of Peruvian Shade Grown Organic?
When thinking of coffee beans and the environment they grow in,
most people automatically think of sprawling, commercial coffee crop plantations in
the middle of nowhere. They may believe sunlight is the main nutrient for all types
of coffee. However, different coffee crops share different growth and harvesting
procedures. The two main types of coffee growth: shade grown (organic coffee) and
direct sunlight (traditional coffee) are on the opposite sides of the spectrum when
it comes to production.
In the past, all coffee was shade grown and bore some
resemblance to organic coffee. Most kinds of coffee refuse to sprout majestically
under direct sunlight and thrive best under sun blocking trees. Shade grown coffee
benefited from fallen leaves which help to mulch the soil to retain moisture. In
addition, shade trees provide homes for birds, which act as pest control. With few
fertilizers and pesticides used as recently as 30 years ago, coffee was a hallmark
of healthy production.
In the 1970's, new hybrids of coffee crop began to sprout.
Farmers began to learn new ways of producing more coffee beans, slowing down the
harvesting rate, and use direct sunlight to raise crops. In order to make room for
non-organic coffee, many farmers even chopped down their trees to create plantation
room. In the United States, approximately 2 million acres of lands dedicated to
organic and non-organic coffee had its shade trees removed. The only farmers who
spared their shade trees for organic coffee were the ones too poor to afford
fertilizers and pesticides needed for production.
With the transition from organic coffee to "sun coffee" growing
coffee began to sacrifice the environment. Soil erosion and nutrient depletion
became the norm as more chemical fertilizers were sprayed onto the ground. In
addition, producers were adamant at removing rainforest land in the search for
non-organic coffee soil. Today, there are only a few countries that are making the
switch to producing full time organic coffee, including Ethiopia, Panama, Mexico,
and El Salvador. Bigger countries like Costa Rica and Brazil continue to be mainly
non-organic coffee producers. All in all, organic coffee has derived its history
from the spoiled environment its non-organic counterpart specializes in
3) In order for an item to be labeled 100% organic it must only contain certified organic
ingredients and/or processing agents, excluding water and salt.
4) The term "certified organic" can be a little tricky. In this case only 95% of the ingredients
need to be certified organic, but the remaining 5% must be on the USDA approved list and not be available in a
5) The USDA organic logo may be printed on any 100% organic or "Organic" item.
6 Agricultural products labeled organic, such as coffee, can't be treated with sewage sludge
(yes conventional crops are), or ionizing radiation. Agricultural products labeled "100 percent organic" and
"organic" cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation.
Now that we have gone through the definition of certified organic we can move onto the topic at
hand. Now let's talk about my passion, organic coffee. Remembering back to the meaning of certified organic,
organic coffee must be at least 95% organically grown beans. Seeing as how coffee usually only contains "coffee",
organic coffee blends are probably 100% organic, if they are only 95% the other 5% of ingredients must be listed on
the product information panel.
You may be thinking, "who cares if my coffee was grown organically?" well here's a few
1) Regardless of what you think about conventional farming practices, can you imagine drinking
something treated with sewage sludge?
2) There's the whole Frankenstein gene thing. I don't want my cup of joe to have pig genes
spliced in just so the beans can have less acidity.
3) For you decaf. drinkers organic coffee is your best friend. Conventional decaf. coffees are
decaffeinated using carcinogenic solvents such as methylene chloride and ethyl acetate. Organic decaffeinated
coffees are processed with hot water and not chemicals. There is evidence to suggest that drinking chemical
processed decaffeinated coffees may lead to rheumatoid arthritis.
4) Pesticides and herbicides can be lethal in high concentrations. A lot of coffee farmers in
developing countries can not read adequately, which may lead to improper mixing of chemicals and inadequate
The above are just a few reasons to only purchase organic coffee. It goes much deeper than the
coffee itself. A lot of toxins are released in the making of non-organic chemicals.
As a closing thought, farmers that grow their crops organically are paying special attention to
the natural needs or their crop, so the result is pampered coffee that tastes great! Whether you think I'm just
trying to promote my agenda, or promote your good health, please give organic coffee a try and pass the word.
Café Britt Gourmet Organic
100% Fair Trade Certified gourmet coffee from international coffee suppliers who work and
live in the countries where their coffees are grown, who know their farmers personally,
and who work closely with their growers to ensure environmental
sustainability. More details