Certifications

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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Revised on February 8, 2013

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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Revised on March 23, 2014

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

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Revised on July 8, 2014

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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Revised on November 12, 2012

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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Revised on January 6, 2013

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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Revised on October 30, 2013

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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Revised on March 23, 2014

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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Revised on March 23, 2014

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

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Revised on November 2, 2010

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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Revised on November 2, 2010

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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Revised on February 15, 2011

At the Specialty Coffee Association of America expo, we attended a lecture on climate change and coffee. Several speakers discussed this topic, but I’ll focus on the climate module that Rainforest Alliance is adding to its certification. This was announced…

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Revised on December 5, 2010

As we did last year, Coffee & Conservation attended the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Coffee Breakfast at the SCAA annual show. The breakfast took place this morning. The winners of the sixth annual “Cupping for Quality” event were announced. These awards…

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Revised on May 4, 2014

I’m back from Nicaragua — and yes, I did see Emerald Toucanets at two different shade coffee farms. I’ll be writing about my trip soon. Meanwhile, news from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Certified Bird-Friendly coffee is finally available in…

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Revised on April 6, 2011

Is incorporating shade criteria into organic certification standards a good thing?

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Revised on January 15, 2014