Book: Organic Coffee: Sustainable Development by Mayan Farmers by Maria Elena Martinez-Torres. This book is based on a PhD dissertation, but has been skillfully adapted and is very readable while still preserving the excellent information including tables, charts, and references. The book explains the history of coffee farming in Chiapas, Mexico, including growing techniques and political and social considerations. The author ties it all together with chapters on the economic and ecological benefits of organic coffee farming. A really worthwhile book that is very helpful in understanding organic coffee.
Article: Ethical Certification — Sustainability with a Rich Aroma by Ethical Corporation magazine. Contrasts, compares, and discusses three certification schemes: Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, and Utz Kapeh (which has just changed its name to Utz Certified), from a European perspective. Frames the discussion around McDonald’s decision to serve Rainforest Alliance certified coffee in all its UK stores and the controversy around that move. It branches out into the various other certification programs and their costs and requirements, and wades into organic certification and even Starbucks and the trademark issue. Wide-ranging (obviously) to the point of wandering, not too deep, but offers some interesting facts.