What Is the Difference Between Organic Coffee and Regular?

Coffee is good for you but organic coffee is better. What is the difference between organic coffee and regular? Both contain caffeine to give you that morning wake up. And both contain the antioxidants that provide so many health benefits of coffee. But it is what is missing that makes the difference between organic coffee and regular.

Organic Agriculture

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) explains organic agriculture.

Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.

Organic farms and processors:

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
  • Support animal health and welfare
  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
  • Only use approved materials
  • Do not use genetically modified ingredients
  • Receive annual onsite inspections
  • Separate organic food from non-organic food

Products that are labeled organic, 100% organic or made with organic ingredients must be produced in accordance with precise standards.

The end result is that insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers are not found in organic products, including coffee. But who checks to make sure this is true?

Agencies that Certify Coffee as Organic

The only place in the USA where organic coffee is grown is Hawaii. So who certifies coffee outside of the USA? The USDA designates agencies around the world to certify coffee according to USDA standards. One of these is Bio Latina. This agency has branches throughout Latin America. The certify for the USDA, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, UTZ, Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee, UTZ and others.

Years ago we wrote about Bio Latina Organic Coffee Certification.

Bio Latina organic coffee certification and certification of other agricultural products is carried out on over 400 producers. However, many of these are agricultural cooperatives so that total number of producers, including small family operations, is around 22,000!

Their certification guarantees the processes and procedures by which that cup of coffee reach your table. Coffee is commonly grown in mountainous areas. The ideal locations for good organic coffee are often difficult to get to and difficult to get around in. These regions are commonly forested and ideal for shade grown organic coffee production under sustainable conditions. However, to demonstrate that the grower is, in fact, not using synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides it is necessary that someone from an organization like Bio Latina make a visit. This can involve flying to the country, driving to the closest point on the road and then walking miles to a small coffee plantation on a mountainside with a slope ranging from thirty to sixty degrees. As one can see Bio Latina organic coffee certification in the mountainous regions of Latin America can often be very difficult. However, the end result is that small growers abiding by sustainable practices are rewarded for their work and for their stewardship of the land with the higher prices that buyers pay for organic coffee beans than for regular coffee.

The difference between organic coffee and regular is the absence of lots of impurities that you don’t need and the end result of adherence to sustainable agricultural practices and certification.




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