Ethical coffee has gained a lot of popularity in these days. Though coffee has always been a favorite drink for a huge number of people many of them are not at all aware of the origin of coffee. A good number of environmental issues can be associated with traditional coffee agricultural methods and some of them include environmentally unsustainable farming practices and unfair labor practices.
This situation is changing in a gradual manner and more and more ethical practices have come into existence in these days. Pesticides, chemical fertilizers and insecticides will not be used to grow ethical or organic coffee and environmental as well as health problems can be averted with this unique type of coffee as well.
Ethical Coffee:- Why Certify?
A good number of people have become aware of the coffee-related environmental and social issues and they have started rethinking about the origin of their coffee. The demand for coffee brands that support social equality, economic stability and environmental preservation have increased ever than before and in order to certify farms of the ethical coffee growers, independent agencies have been established as well.
The certifications will act as a guarantee for people about the social and environmental practices that the growers follow and the agencies will conduct thorough investigation before granting the certification. It can be said that they will serve as the medium of commerce for the coffee and certified label will be issued to the growers who follow all strict guidelines.
Ethical Coffee:- The Certifications
There are different types of coffee certifications and they include Fair Trade, Direct Trade, Shade Coffee, Organic Coffee, Rainforest Alliance, Bird Friendly and Carbon Neutral.
Fair trade coffee growers will pay fair wages to their employees and they will also provide educational opportunities for the workers and their families. The living standards and well being of the workers will be given great importance and that is why the name Fair trade came into existence.
Direct trade will eliminate the middleman to have a fair price for small farmers and it will encourage them to develop ecologically responsible and sustainable practices. Buying direct from the farmers will become a reality with direct trade.
Shade grown coffee will maintain a natural canopy of trees and it can be considered as a traditional way of growing coffee. The entire surrounding will act as a perfect habitat for birds and wildlife.
Organic coffee producers will not use synthetic substances like fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. In order to qualify as an organic coffee grower, 95% the coffee beans should be produced under organic conditions and it is really easy to identify the organic coffee because of the special label attached with it.
The environment and the rights of the workers will be protected in the best manner with Rainforest alliance. It is absolutely essential to achieve 40% shade coverage by maintaining natural forest cover and the farmers should not disturb natural water courses as well.
Bird friendly ethical coffee standards can be described as the toughest one. First of all, the growers will have to meet the requirements for organic certification and they should also maintain perfect forest cover that will ensure congenial habitat for birds and wildlife.
The negative environmental impact associated with traditional coffee can be averted with Carbon neutral ethical coffee. Carbon emission has become a major concern in these days and carbon neutral coffee will take care of this aspect in the best manner. The ultimate goal is to achieve zero emission of greenhouse gases and it can be described as the latest coffee certification.
Ethical Coffee:- Conclusion
Achieving certification standards involves additional expenses and the farmers will have to pay certification fee to the organization. In comparison with traditional methods, lower yields can be associated with some of the environmentally friendly growing methods and certain incentive schemes are available for farmers to offset the costs. Buyers will offer a price premium for farmers and it will be fixed by the certifying agency.
Finally, this premium will be passed on to consumers in the form slightly higher price for the coffee and it can be described as a economic model that will motivate people to pay for their environmental and philosophical beliefs. As responsible and disciplined human beings, all people should always promote the habit of drinking ethical coffee because it will make the world a better place to live in.