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Organic farming practices

Many specialty coffee-producing farms aren’t certified as organic, even if they follow strict practices that make their output organic. This is because farmers have to overcome a lot of hurdles to attain certification – ones that are difficult, demanding, and also expensive.

It takes a minimum of three years for a farm to convert to organic-certified standards. New practices, such as the preservation and recycling of materials, waste reduction, the use of natural fertilisers, and more must be observed.

During this time, farmers may have to take huge financial risks: paying fees they may not normally afford; risking a failed inspection, which will see them lose a refund; and the outgoings associated with new materials and processes. In some countries, such as Brazil, it can cost three times the price of labour just for organic practices, which many simply cannot afford.

What’s more, farmers may not have the knowledge or experience to grow organically, and can often lack government support, due to a lack of investment in organic research on a national level. Those studies that are carried out are often conducted in non-coffee-growing countries, where climates do not reflect those of major producers.

In our experience, farmers regularly decide to use organic practices for our coffees, due to personal beliefs or family traditions, but have decided against heavy investment in certification, instead choosing to reinvest in the development of their farms and communities.

Colture provides and establishes direct trade with its importers, we talk to our producers, and do our very best to ensure these coffees come from hard-working, high-quality farms with caring owners, whether organically certified or not.