Traceability has always been important in the specialty coffee sector, but as ethical consumption grows, we are seeing more roasters looking for the organic credentials of our beans.
But what exactly makes coffee organic or not, and does it make for a better cup? We tell you everything you need to know.
What does “organic coffee” mean?
In short, organic coffee is elaborated and produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. The farm’s fertilizer must be 100% organic; it can be chicken manure, coffee pulp, bocachi or compost in general. If fertilizers such as synthetic nitrogen, phosphate or potash are found, the coffee cannot be classified as organic.
And then there is the time element. All organic farming requires at least three years of cultivation using only natural fertilizers and pesticides, so that no chemicals come into contact with the plants. There must be a sustainable crop rotation plan to avoid erosion, soil nutrient depletion and to naturally control pests.
Finally, the coffee must also have been processed and packaged without the intervention of any chemical products.
Organic coffee beans: The conscious choice
For the conscious consumer, there are three compelling reasons to choose to drink organic coffee and buy organic coffee beans:
Supporting coffee farmers
Almost all organic coffee plantations are also Fair Trade compliant. Fair Trade coffee supports the people who grow the coffee beans by ensuring they are paid a fair price for their products, investing in their processes and communities, and monitoring standards for good working conditions. If you want to know more, we have written an article about Fair Trade coffee beans.
Also related to workers’ conditions: organic coffee growing means no synthetic pesticides, which means that plantation workers do not breathe in these harmful chemicals.
Supporting the planet
Organic coffee cultivation methods are sustainable and help protect the environment. Organic coffee is grown in the shade. However, in terms of coffee production, “sun-grown” coffee produces the highest yields and therefore offers the greatest financial rewards to those involved in the chain. World demand for coffee is so high that coffee growers have been encouraged to adopt this method. The consequence of creating large sun-grown plantations is deforestation.
Forests stabilize ecosystems. They do so by “storing water, circulating soil nutrients, reducing temperature, balancing microclimates, purifying the air, harboring countless plant and animal species and enriching biodiversity”.
Buying certified organic coffee beans means that the plantation where the beans are produced uses shade-grown methods, which reduces deforestation caused by the coffee industry.In addition, organic farming methods contribute to the conservation of soil and water resources in places where drought is common.
Organic coffee beans are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. In regular (i.e. non-organic) coffee production, these products are used in the cultivation process. This can mean that, when there is heavy rainfall, the chemicals reach rivers and streams and can redistribute, causing contamination in the surrounding areas.
Busi coffee 100% organic
At Arabo, we are 100% committed to quality and flavor, without renouncing the values of sustainability, solidarity and fair trade, which is why we offer 100% organic KOA coffee. It is clear to us that any gesture, no matter how small, can mean a great contribution to the planet and to humanity.