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Organic Certification for and against

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:55 pm
by Alistair Durie
Death of Certification
March 2012 Coffee Talk
by Jim Stewart

"it was maybe 5 or 6 years ago that some of these same peo­ple, pri­mar­ily the Vashon organic pro­duce farm­ers said “NO”! NO MORE, to organic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Why, they said, should we pay a total stranger in New York City who may not have as much as a flower pot in his or her win­dow a fee that says to my cus­tomers that I am an organic farmer?"

"This cost, when push comes to shove, is meet­ing with high resis­tance at the con­sumer level. Fact is in my 40 years at SBC the cus­tomer never was will­ing to pay for all the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion costs"

Organic Certification - Not only relevant today, but vital
March 2012 Coffee Talk
Sandra Marquardt, Organic Trade Association cof­fee spokes­woman asked sev­eral lumi­nar­ies in the cof­fee arena if they would like to com­ment on their posi­tion. ... tification
"After spending a lot of money, we decided to drop certification altogether six years ago. We continue to practice organic agriculture, we continue to provide a sanctuary for migratory birds in our shade trees, and we continue to treat our workers fairly. But we don’t need certification to continue doing what is right for the environment and those who work for us."

Could anyone offer more specific estimates of the cost of organic certification? I often see quoted that annual cost of organic certifications costs "thousands" and "stacks" of paperwork. I'm sure much of this depends on region. How much time and money is this really for non-cooperative estate producers?

Re: Organic Certification for and against

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:02 am
by Alistair Durie
With Counter Culture Coffee's launch of "Save Our Soil" these questions are answered and much more. Impressive. A very clear and strong case for organic certification that is coffee focused.

FAQ: ... Q_2012.pdf

specifically on the question of cost:

"both independent producers and cooperatives working with Counter Culture Coffee consistently report that certification costs approximately $3000 per year. Three thousand dollars (or let’s say we double it to $6000) is a relatively small sum for a farmer producing 37,000 pounds – a standard shipping container – of coffee, much less a cooperative of hundreds of farmers that might produce anywhere from 10-20 to 200 shipping containers of coffee, so the idea that farmers can’t afford organic certification is, in most cases, unfounded."

Thank you Peter Guiliano and Counter Culture Coffee.