Not Certified but Still Organic Coffee

A year or more ago the Christian Science Monitor ran an article saying that ten percent of organic coffee producers had given up. For some organic coffee growers the extra care and work just does not pay off. There are a number of possible reasons. One is that a grower must pay for organic coffee certification whereas a regular coffee producer does not. Is it possible that not certified but still organic coffee would be just as good and more profitable for the coffee grower? If the grower does not have “official” certification from an agency such as Bio Latina in Latin America, how does the consumer know that he or she is drinking healthy organic coffee and not imbibing up to 150 unwanted chemicals in every cup? Beside the question of drinking not certified but still organic coffee organic coffee lovers may wish to think about what they are willing to pay and just how much of what they pay for a cup of organic coffee goes to the coffee grower instead of a host of middle men.

Part of our work at Panama Natural Organic Coffee is scouting out organic coffee growers in Panama, Colombia, and other areas of Latin America. One of our contacts is a coffee grower in the province of Chiriquí in Panama. This gentleman is listed on the Bio Latina web site as being a certified organic coffee producer. However, when we spoke with him he said that despite paying $500 a year for inspection and certification that he never saw a profit from his organic coffee operation. To his credit he did not change how he grows and processes his coffee. However, he did quit paying Bio Latina $500 a year for their services. His coffee is not certified but still organic coffee. It still contains organic coffee antioxidants . It is still free of pesticides and insecticides found much of regular coffee. This man grows great organic coffee but cannot put a USDA or Bio Latina seal of approval on his bags of coffee.

We have written recently about how the agricultural system can support coffee growers. Credit unions support organic coffee growers in Mexico . It appears that government supported Brazil coffee storage will raise coffee farmer income . On the other hand, organic coffee growers in Honduras suffer from the lack of dedicated organic processing facilities. The coffee grower may do everything necessary to produce organic coffee beans only to lose his certification when his beans are processed in equipment just used for regular coffee beans. The cost of certification can be a major issue for a small grower whose yearly output is only a few quintales (100 kilogram bags). If the grower is part of a cooperative this can help as the cost of certification is divided among a number of growers. Nevertheless in the same neighborhood as our friend who gave up certification (Veraguas Province, Panama – next door to Chiriquí) there are small growers of wonderful, not certified but still organic coffee who end up selling their coffee at the tienda (local grocery and all-purpose store) down the hill from their farm because no one has found a way of putting them in touch with buyers in North America or Europe.

If you are interested in wholesale coffee , Panama wholesale organic coffee , or not certified but still organic coffee, from Panama especially, contact us at Panama Natural Organic Coffee / . We would be pleased to help.

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