Why Organic Coffee Matters
I am always passionate about making the right choices for our customers, the environment and our community. This is why we only use Organic Coffee. But please read on to see why.
There is so much to say about coffee, and its many flavours, aromas and origins. BUT one of the biggest differences between coffees is the way it was farmed!
The difference between organic coffee and regular coffee is quite striking! Even if you already enjoy organic products, or even organic coffee, you may wonder why it really matters.
Coffee is one of the world's most traded commodities, with over 10.4 million tonnes of coffee being produced each year. Meeting that huge demand means that some farming methods have been developed to maximise production - at the expense of human and environmental health. However, through advances in technology, we can produce huge quantities of organically farmed coffee.
The organic coffee market has been growing from demand from people who want to drink something they can feel good about, as it is better for them, the environment, and the farmers.
So what's the difference between organic coffee and conventional coffee?
1. The synthetic chemicals VS the organic and natural
This may come as a shock to many people, and be prepared to spray your non-organic coffee across the room - but conventional (non-organic) coffee is one of the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is covered in synthetic (artificial) pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. And unfortunately, you do not get to give the beans a rinse in the sink before you consume them...
Not only does the environment suffer from this overload of pollutants, but so do the farmers who work on these farms covered with this chemical treatments. Farmers and their families are exposed to a high level of chemicals while spraying the crops with all of those chemicals (and there are hundreds of different types of nasty chemicals). The surrounding communities to the farms are also negatively impacted due to chemical residues in the air and water. Just to be clear, these chemicals are highly toxic and are really detrimental to human health.
Summary of negative chemicals non-organic coffee is grown with:
Pesticides - a mixture of substances used to kill a plant or animal pest.
Herbicides - a mixture of chemicals designed to kill unwanted plants.
Fungicides - a mixture of chemicals used to kill fungi or their spores.
Chemical fertilisers - chemical treatment to improve growth of plants.
Insecticides - a mixture of substances used to kill insects.
Since pesticides are designed to kill living organisms, they can be very harmful to humans, animals and the environment. The reason they work is because they are toxic. The aforementioned group of chemicals can cause a wide range of health problems.
Studies have shown that there are up to 1,000 chemicals and compounds present in a cup of coffee. It makes sense to be choosing organic as the bean absorbs nutrients, chemicals and compounds as it grows.
The organic coffee growing conditions
Since there are no chemicals used in growing or production of the coffee plant, this means cleaner beans, air, land and water. The coffee is grown using only organic farming methods. Organic farms can also help combat climate change by emitting less carbon, and they use less water on these farms.
The main benefit is that organic coffee are richer in healthy antioxidants, flavour, aroma and mouthfeel.
In this way, your health, the health of the farmers, the local community, and the health of the planet all get a boost!
2. The conditions the coffee plants are grown in
The conventional (non-organic ) way
Most conventionally (non-organic) grown coffee plants are actually hybrid plants developed to flourish in the open sun. Coffee plants usually prefer the shade, however a crop grown in thick forests is harder to harvest, and can not be planted densely. Therefore conventional farming practices developed a hybrid plant that can be grown in the sun.
Unfortunately, this meant that forests were cleared to make room for open fields to grow huge amounts of the non-organic hybrid coffee species. The clearing of the forests comes with its own issues, as you remove ecosystems of flora and fauna, you also remove the natural pest-deterrents, like reptiles and birds, and insects overpopulate, which leads to larger amounts of toxic insecticides being used.
When it rains on the open plantations, there is no tree cover, and there is increased water runoff, which washes the chemicals the crops are treated with into local water supplies.
The organic and natural way
Most organic coffee is grown in its natural habitat of lush forests, and shaded areas, which provide home for wild plants and animals, which helps to sustain soil fertility, and keeping ecosystems alive and thriving.
These natural farms are also more resilient and better equipped to handle changes in climate, which makes them a safer investment for farmers and their futures.
By drinking organic coffee, you support a system that values sustainable farming practices, healthy ecosystems and superior coffee.