The coffee industry has a tremendous impact (positive and negative) on the environment, social equity and peace in coffee growing regions. While certifications are fundamental to our work, our practices often go far beyond the standards that Fair Trade & Organic Certification have set. That said, we believe in supporting the work that certifying organizations do to raise awareness and hold the coffee industry accountable. When you see certification labels on our packages – here’s what they mean:
The international FAIRTRADE Mark appears on over 27,000 products sold in more than 120 countries. When you buy products with the international FAIRTRADE Mark, you make a positive difference for small-scale farmers and workers around the world. Products bearing the Mark meet the social, economic and environmental standards set by Fairtrade.
The international FAIRTRADE Mark is backed by:
- The internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards
- Strong producer involvement in all decision-making
- An independent certification system through FLO-CERT
- A global network offering support to producers
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 farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives.
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
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center has developed a certification for coffee that meet their strict standards – coffee that is 100% organic and shade-grown. They call it Bird Friendly Coffee.
Their seal of approval ensures tropical “agroforests” are preserved and migratory birds find a healthy haven when they travel from your backyard to faraway farms producing the beans you enjoy every morning.
Read more about our work in Sustainability
In 2012, we embarked on a project that would bring clean cookstoves to the coffee farmers of The Namanyonyi Cooperative. The first 44 stoves were built for the elderly, families with children, and single-parent families. Now it’s time to build 50 more.