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Certified organic coffee



Demand for organic products is growing. You can buy certified organic coffee quite easily in most developed countries. But what exactly is organic coffee?

Generally speaking, organic coffee is grown using methods that respect the local environment. Organic farmers don’t grow genetically modified plants and they don’t use synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.

However, “organic”, like “fair trade” and “sustainable”, is still a fairly loose term. It has always meant different things to different people.

That’s where certification comes in: it defines what can and can’t be labelled as organic. In some countries this is regulated by the government. There are also international organisations such as the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

Fair trade and shade-grown coffees sometimes also have organic certification.



Many countries around the world have created organic farming certification systems. Others are still in development. The standards are different. In Australia, for example, they only apply for export.

In the United States, organic certification is controlled by the National Organic Program.

In the European Union, the rules are made by the European Council, which has created a label for all organic packaged goods produced in the EU. Member sates may apply their own standards and labels, but they must comply with the EU legislation.

The aim of the NESCAFÉ Plan is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

As part of the NESCAFÉ Plan, over the next five years (2011-15), we will double the amount of NESCAFÉ coffee bought directly from farmers and their associations, purchasing 180,000 tonnes of coffee from around 170,000 farmers.

With the support of Rainforest Alliance and 4C, all directly purchased green coffee will be compliant with the internationally recognized 4C sustainability standards by 2015.


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