Certifications

Counter Culture Coffee has just released its first annual Transparency Report, covering 2009. Simple, straightforward, five pages describing each of CCC’s Direct Trade coffees, including the date of the last farm visit by a CCC employee and how much they…

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Caribou Coffee recently announced that it will be sourcing all of its beans from Rainforest Alliance certified farms by the end of 2011.

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The first set of 2010 winners of the Cupping for Quality competition, featuring Rainforest Alliance-certified coffees, was just announced at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) meeting. RA now certifies 2% of world coffee exports. This year, there…

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More Smithsonian Institution locations now serving Bird-Friendly certified coffee.

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An oversupply of coffee was one of the catalysts of the world coffee crisis in the 1990s, and most of it came from Vietnam. Vietnam increased production 1100% that decade, assisted by development agencies and large multinational coffee roasters. Nearly…

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In December, I reported on the 2008 global market statistics for Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) Bird-Friendly-certified coffee. For the 2007-2008 crop year, 2700 metric tons (6 million pounds) of Bird-Friendly certified coffee was produced. This certification is at the…

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A handy list of roasters who regularly carry Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Bird-Friendly-certified coffee.

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Organic coffee and yield

by on January 20, 2010

Critics often argue that a major barrier to farmers producing organic coffee is that yields often decrease dramatically, preventing profit. How much yield is lost under organic coffee farming methods, and what causes it?

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At least 10% of farmers in northern Latin America have returned to using pesticides because consumers are unwilling to pay more for organic coffee.

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In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its decision to ban any residue of the pesticide carbofuran on food. The rule becomes effective December 31, 2009. Carbofuran (sold under the name Furadan) causes neurological damage in humans, is…

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UPDATE: A thorough report with detailed breakdowns of producing and consuming countries, certified roasters and importers, major retailers, and other information is now available on the SMBC web site. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center announced that sales of Bird-Friendly coffee…

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For August 2009, Ken Davids’ Coffee Review takes a look at shade grown coffee. First he describes the definition of the term “shade grown” and goes on to provide reviews of 12 coffees that scored 89 or over. Three were…

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More follow up, this time from a Smithsonian Bird-Friendly representative, on the purity standards of certified coffees.

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When is 100% not 100%?

by on June 20, 2009

Coffee labeled 100% Rainforest Alliance certified may in fact only contain 81% certified beans without disclosure to the consumer.

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A coffee farm that is part of the ProAves Cerulean Warbler Reserve in Santander, Colombia was recently certified by Rainforest Alliance (under the cooperative Asociación de Cafés Sostenibles de Santander). The 15 ha farm was acquired in 2006 by ProAves,…

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