What Makes Coffee Organic

What Makes Coffee Organic

Addison Todd

What Makes Coffee Organic?

Organic food products are showing up on grocery shelves everywhere. Knowing what makes coffee organic is useful in determining if it is the right choice and how to choose an organic coffee from among the many different ones available. Organic products are healthier choices due to lack of pesticides and other chemicals.                                                                                             

What make coffee organic is basically the same things that make other products organic. In laymen’s terms it simply means a method of growing food, including coffee beans that do not harm the environment through the use of chemicals, pesticides, or fertilizers. The end product is a food that is pure and healthy with no long term harmful effects on the body.

In order for a food product to be labeled organic it must be certified. There are different requirements for each type of food and what it takes to make coffee organic may be different than what it takes to make other food products organic. It is important to note that if a food product says ‘organic’ but does not say ‘certified’ it may not be a truly organic product. 

The definition of what makes coffee organic requires the use of organic farming techniques that include no artificial fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. The majority of the coffee plantations who seek organic certification also seek shade grown and Fair Trade certifications. Having all three certifications increases the price of the coffee but also insures that the coffee is being produced in a manner that is socially responsible, safe for health and creates a fair pricing market for the coffee.

Coffee plantations that want to become certified organic must understand every aspect of what makes a coffee organic and follow the steps required to become organically certified. If the plantation has used chemicals in the past it must remain chemical free for three years before a coffee crop can be deemed organic. In addition, if the plantation plans on growing coffee that is not organic there must be a set buffer width between the organic crops and the non-organic crops to keep the chemicals from reaching the organic crops through water runoff or airborne contamination.

Plantations that are seeking organic certification must also understand that farming practices play a role in what makes coffee organic and ultimately plays a role in receiving certification. Organic plantations practice recycling, composting and other farming techniques that are eco-friendly. One such technique is to rotate the area the crops are planted to prevent total breakdown and erosion of the soil. This allows the soil a chance to recover from the growing process and replenish the nutrients in the soil.

Once a coffee plantation is able to meet these requirements to make their coffee organic they can be become certified and receive more for their product on the market than coffees that are not organically certified. This is important in the future of many coffee plantations as more and more people seek out organic products in order to keep their family from being exposed to harmful chemicals. 

Understanding what makes coffee organic is the first step in being able to recognize and purchase coffee that is organic and healthy in nature. As more and more coffee producers become organically certified it will be easier for consumers to identify and purchase organic coffee for their drinking pleasure. 








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