Organic Coffee Blog

What does it mean to be a USDA Certified Organic Coffee Roaster?

July 27, 2015 / Farm to Cup Organic


What does it mean to be a USDA Certified Organic Coffee Roaster?
Any roaster can buy certified organically farmed coffee beans in their raw green form, but once they are roasted the roaster cannot sell them as certified organic unless they are certified by an agent of the USDA under the NOP program. 
Why is it important and necessary for the roaster to be certified too?
There are strict guidelines and protocol that must be followed to maintain the integrity of the certified organically farmed coffee for it to be sold in roasted form as organic. Pesticides used during farming of conventional coffee and retained in shipping are easily transferable to organic coffee stock, so that nasty pesticide grown coffee can contamiate organically grown during transport, storage, roasting, grinding and packaging, rendering it no longer organic. Shearwater, as a USDA Certified Organic coffee roaster, is responsible for maintaining documentation and total transparency from raw green bean storage to bagged and shipped roasted coffee beans. We are responsible for filing a copy of the original organic coffee farms organic certification for that particular batch and lot and submitting it to the USDA. We are responsible for implementing a labeling system so we know what bag of green coffee beans the roasted coffee beans you buy originated from. Our full line of single-origin and blended coffees must be filed and approved by the USDA agent to be sold as organic. This allows Shearwater to place the USDA Organic logo on the front of all our coffee bags. 
At Shearwater, we never purchase conventional coffee beans grown with synthetic chemical fertilizers or sprayed with pesticides, herbicide and insecticides. Never has and never will a conventional bean with pesticides enter the Shearwater roasting facility. We are committed to being totally organic, which can’t be said of all certified organic coffee roasters. Some still roast conventional coffee with pesticides within the same facility. Although they may take precautions to avoid transference of pesticides, I have to ask why, if you are committed to customers drinking safe and delicious certified organic coffee, would you still offer non-organic coffee that is toxic? 
Shearwater will not compromise on that principle. We are 100% organic because we understand the negative effects of pesticides in our food supply as well as the farmers’ health, birds and other animals, and the planet as a whole. Always make sure you see the USDA Certified Organic logo on the front of a coffee bag before you purchase. It is your only guarantee the coffee is truly organic from farm to cup.

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