Sustainable Coffee Production

Does sustainable coffee production mean that the coffee produced is healthy organic coffee? Organic coffee certification tells the consumer that their coffee was grown, harvested, processed, stored, and roasted in accordance with rules of the United States Department of Agriculture. But, does coffee need USDA certification to be organic coffee? The answer is obviously no. Many growers find the yearly $500 needed for USDA certification to be too expensive and many find that being certified does not bring them any more customers or customers who pay any better. Although organic coffee grown and certified by the USDA is the result of sustainable coffee production so is coffee that is UTZ certified or Rainforest Alliance certified.

Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Coffee Production

Rainforest Alliance is an NGOP that works to conserve biodiversity. They seek to convince buyers to purchase what is good for the environment and good for small farmers. Their certified coffees are produced using good land use practices. Certified coffee farms meet a strict set of environmental standards including ecosystem preservation and minimal use of synthetic chemicals. Rainforest Alliance and its partners work to increase and maintain sustainable agricultural practices. In addition, Rainforest Alliance works to convince consumers to buy Rainforest certified products and businesses to provide them.

UTZ Sustainable Coffee Production

The UTZ Certified label tells you that the coffee came from a farm that employed sustainable agricultural practices, good environmental practices and efficient farm management. UTZ Certified label is that UTZ Certified coffee is traced from grower to roaster. UTZ helps farmers reach its long term goals of good agricultural practices, safe and healthy working conditions, abolishment of child labor, and environmental protection by gradual steps. This allows a grower to sign up to get his coffee UTZ certified, learn what is necessary, and grow into the long term requirements of the program. Close tracking of all UTZ Certified products assures consumers of healthy organic coffee produced by these growers as well as of business practices beneficial to the preservation of small family owned coffee farms.

USDA Certified Organic Coffee

According to the USDA, the following applies to USDA organic coffee as well as to all organic food production.

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled organic, a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

All three labels noted above tell the consumer that his coffee was the result of sustainable coffee production. Whether the label says organic or not these coffees have minimum impurities and the same qualities that help reduce the risk of diabetes and various cancers.


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