Organic coffee beans are grown in 40 countries. The leading producer is Mexico, followed by Peru and Ethiopia. Organic coffee is frequently associated with shade grown and fair trade coffees.
Fair Trade Coffee:
The Fair Trade movement’s goal has been to ensure that the vast majority of the world’s coffee farmers (who are small holders) get a fair price for their harvests in order to achieve a decent living wage. Fair Trade farmers don’t have the financial ability to clear forests, buy chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They generally grow small plots of mixed-crop, shade grown coffee organically.
Pura Vida is an organization that supports fair trade, organic, and shade grown coffee. By purchasing and selling only 100% of this kind of coffee, they help ensure that farmers around the world receive a fair wage and can support their families, and that the natural habitat they live and work in is preserved.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires coffee to meet certain criteria in order to be sold as organic:
There have been no synthetic pesticides used on the land where coffee is grown for three years
A buffer must exist between the organic crop and the non-organic one
There must be crop rotation to prevent soil erosion and depletion of nutrients
Every aspect of growing, moving, processing and packaging coffee beans must be certified organic.
The green coffee beans must be separated from any synthetically fertilized product
All containers used for roasting must be kept separate
Roaster must be purged for 15 minutes before being used to roast organic beans
Beans must be transported by that do not transport chemicals with the coffee