With over 12 billion pounds produced annually, coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world. Because of this, certain farming methods have been developed to maximize production. But these techniques often harm human and environmental health. In fact, conventional coffee is one of the most heavily chemically treated crops in the world.
Here are five reasons to choose certified organic over conventional coffee.
- Organic coffee is not chemically produced. Organic coffee does not use synthetic chemicals and fertilizers, so it is a cleaner product for the consumer, and the air, land and water are not damaged during production.
- Organic coffee is climate friendly. Organic farms combat climate change by emitting less carbon than conventional farms while also sequestering significant amounts of carbon. Coffee plants thrive in the shade, meaning these organic coffee trees end up benefitting the ecosystem. In addition to carbon sequestration, organic coffee supports the conservation of wildlife, birds, vegetation and the prevention of soil erosion and diseases.
- Organic coffee beans are higher in antioxidants. Some types of coffee contain certain properties that are beneficial to our health. One study found organic light and medium roasts contain more of a certain type of naturally occurring compounds, and organic coffee beans contain more antioxidants than conventional ones.
- Organic coffee does not increase deforestation. Organic coffee grows in the shade of lush forests, providing a home for wild plants and animals, sustaining soil fertility, and keeping unique regional ecosystems alive. Conventional coffee is often grown at the expense of the forest, if growers choose to clear the forest to make room for open fields, where they then grow huge amounts of a sun-loving coffee variety.
- Organic coffee is farmer friendly. Aside from the obvious benefits of avoiding dangerous toxic chemicals, organic coffee farmers also often comply with fair trade standards, which guarantee a higher pay rate to employees. The supply chain of coffee that’s certified fair trade has been audited to meet certain sustainability and labor standards.
The next time you reach for that cup of joe, choose certified organic and fair-trade coffee. Every time you buy it, you become part of a global movement devoted to raising the standard of living for farmworkers, the environment, and your health.