Talks about direct trade and Certifications in the coffee industry have been prominent for quite some times now. This post is to know what the Certifications are in the coffee industry. How important they are? What are their benefits and how to become certified
How important are certifications in the coffee industry?
Nowadays consumers care more and more about the origin of their beverage, they care about direct trade, supply chain, fair-wage, sustainability or the environment. To tackle these issues many organizations are in place. Many organizations are working hard to oversee all problems the coffee industry is facing. They try to cover coffee from growth, production, and sale. Some protect the rights of farmers or their fair wage, others on our environment.
Certifications can assist to environmentally friendly farming practices; can prove that the coffee is organic. Depend on the region they can also demonstrate that no child labor was involved in the production of the coffee
What are the most popular certifications?
There are many certification programs. Some are private others and public. They all depend on their focus and their regions. In this article, let us talk about the known ones.
- Utz Certification (Now part of the Rainforest Alliance): focus on sustainability farming practices. They make sure farmers have safe working conditions and no forced or child labor practices.
- Rainforest Alliance Certification: They work with coffee producers in LATAM, Asia and Africa. Their focus is sustainability, fair wage and climate resilience in coffee production. They help coffee farmers to have eco-friendly farming practices and connect them to international markets.
- Fair Trade Certification: Is to make sure that workers have a fair wage, better labor laws
- USDA Organic Certification. USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture. This label is for products grown without any harmful pesticides or other chemicals that could harm after consumption.
What are the benefits being certified?
Connecting the gap across the supply chain or “direct trade” is becoming an increasingly protuberant topic in the coffee industry. Therefore, there are many benefits being certified.
Being certified show roasters a certain amount of trust in their suppliers, they can commit to buying a certain coffee year round. It also help producers to be connected to new markets, new buyers, and sell at better price
How do I become certified?
- Rainforest Alliance Certification: They have 2 certifications. One for Individuals and one for Business. – info are on their site : https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/?page_id=6207
- Fair Trade Certification: Same concept, they have certification for business and consumers – https://www.fairtradecertified.org/get-started/
- USDA Organic Certification: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/becoming-certified
I believe these certifications are like insurances. Having them does not protect you of having a car accident. They have numerous benefits for producers, roasters, and consumers. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear what the certifications mean and how effective they are.
There are many coffee producers or companies that are not certified but are still producing in environmentally sound ways with excellent and safe labor practices. What certification interest you the most?