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Saturday, April 07, 2007 

Organic Coffee...a thing of the Past?

Just could be...thanks to the USDA.

Due a recent decision over at the USDA's National Organic Program, organic coffee, in the U.S. at least, may be a thing of the past.

...The USDA decision, which affects the way small farmer cooperatives in the Third World are certified, will also dry up supplies of organic cocoa and curtail bananas. So eat your organic Dagoba bars now while they're still available. - Grist

....Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly released a ruling that alarmed organic certifiers and groups who work with third-world farmers. The decision tightens organic certification requirements to such a degree that it could sharply curtail the ability of small grower co-ops to produce organic coffee -- not to mention organic bananas, cocoa, sugar and even spices.

Kimberly Easson, director of strategic relationships for TransFair USA, the fair trade certification group, puts it bluntly: "This ruling could wipe out the organic coffee market in the U.S." - Salon.com

I agree with the Royal Coffee News blog - Please take a moment and write the SCAA, the Organic Consumers Association and your elected representatives. Whether or not you buy organic coffee, this action is potentially disastrous for coffee growing farmers and friends around the world.

Thank you to Samuel Fromartz at Chews Wise for alerting us to this issue.

I just LOVE my Caffe Appassionato Organic Coffees.
Our organic coffees meet the highest levels of the Smithsonian Institute’s standards for Shade Coffee Growers and are Certified Organic by OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association International). We hope you will join us in supporting organic and shade coffee farmers who grow without chemicals and help to protect migratory birds by keeping shade trees intact

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Thanks, Jill. This is one of those issues that the bloggers could make the difference on!

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