Fair Trade - Organic Cooperative in Guatemala

Organic Coffee: One Crop with Multiple Benefits

Posted on July 02 2019, By: Brenna Martin

Fair Trade - Organic Cooperative in Guatemala

What Are the Social and Environmental Impacts of Organic Coffee?

Coffee consumption and sales are rapidly expanding. As the globalization of coffee continues to spread, consumers and corporations are becoming more and more disconnected from the coffee producers. This distance between producers and consumers creates a dangerous lack of transparency in the supply chain of coffee, invisibly enabling exploitation of both coffee growers and their environment. The creation of new markets and the subsequent increased demand for gourmet coffee adds additional stress to the environment and local producing communities.

One way we can empower local communities where coffee is grown is by developing a focused approach of integrating sustainability with profitability in the purchasing contract. Over the years, we have found that by purchasing USDA certified organic coffee, we can "do good" on multiple levels. The impacts of purchasing certified organic coffee are significant for farmers and their communities, as well as for consumers.

For Farmers and Their Communities:

Natural coffee farming practices have profound impacts on the health of growing communities by reducing farmers’ exposure to toxins found in chemical fertilizers and pesticides as well as eliminating the presence of those toxins in the air, water, and soil of the environment. The costs associated with organic farming also significantly affect the wellbeing of farmers and their communities.

By implementing natural coffee growing practices, farmers experience drastically less financial stress without purchasing chemical inputs. Farmers who use natural coffee growing methods can also qualify for higher price premiums through organizations like Fair Trade or the specialty coffee industry, who prioritize fair wages for higher quality coffee. Organic farming methods, such as crop rotation, using shade trees, and growing cover crops, help to maintain soil fertility and quality, making the land productive for many years to come.

For Consumers:

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Organic coffee is a much safer bet than conventional coffee, especially for the health-conscious coffee lover. The most common chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in crop production, including coffee, have been linked to increased rates of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and numerous mental health disorders, among others. Although most of the toxins used in growing coffee are eliminated from the beans during the roasting process, trace amounts are left behind.

Despite minor indirect consequences for our health as consumers, farmers and their communities face extremely high risks for health issues. By purchasing organic coffee, you can become an active supporter of the health of coffee growing communities and the environment that we all share.

For the Environment:

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The elimination of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in organic coffee farming contributes to both immediate and long-term environmental benefits. Immediate benefits include higher soil quality (and better coffee plant growth). Additionally, the shift from fuel-powered machinery to a more intimate relationship with the coffee plants results in lower greenhouse gas emissions. 

Bald Guy Brew: An Organic Coffee Company

Since 2005, Bald Guy Brew has roasted carefully selected, 100% Arabica coffee beans for the discerning coffee drinker. We prioritize natural, organic farming methods to reduce our impact on the environment and coffee producers. Our direct relationships with the farmers who grow our coffee beans builds trust between producers and consumers, ensuring fair wages for the farmers, and allows us to have confidence in the quality of the coffee beans we roast.

Our coffee is meticulously cared for from the beginning stages of growing all the way through the roasting process. Roasting in small batches results in coffee beans with a rich flavor, full body, and a pleasing finish. Our goal is to highlight the unique flavors and characteristics of each coffee that we roast.