One of the strongest debates in coffee is between organic and non-organic farming. On one side are organic advocates, who believe in preserving the plant and animal ecosystems wherever coffee is grown by limiting the types of chemicals that can be used on the farm. On the other side are non-organic supporters, who generally acknowledge the environmental benefits of organic production but make a point of highlighting the pressure it puts on coffee producers, who are by far the most financially insecure and vulnerable people in the coffee chain. This pressure stems from the combination of certification costs, as well as the very real risk that disease and fungus pose to their crops. Although organic pesticides and fungicides can fight some of those threats, they cannot fight them all.
We believe that it’s an incredibly important conversation to have because of the light it sheds on the overarching issue of sustainability, which is what drives our decision to compromise between the two sides. By actively supporting both organic and non-organic producers and ensuring both models are represented in our offerings, we seek to make a positive impact for producers and the environment alike. We are dedicated to the work we do with our producers - by talking with them and trusting them, we are able to create relationships built on mutual learning and respect. After all, no one understands the issues that coffee producers face better than the producers themselves. By listening to coffee farmers and learning about the most effective ways to support different production strategies, we do our best to ensure that all of our producers have sustainable futures in coffee.
When we talk about organic coffee, it is important to note that there is no evidence that it is any healthier than non-organic. Regardless of what chemicals were used in a coffee’s production, no traces have ever been found to be present in the final cup. This is because the coffee plant is only exposed to pesticides and fungicides before the fruit develops. After the fruit ripens, it is removed and processed before eventually being roasted to over 200 degrees Celsius - a process that ensures that all coffee is safe to drink.
We are strong believers in the environmental benefits of organic farming practices, which is why we work with the Soil Association. Founded in 1946, the Soil Association doesn’t just focus on coffee, which is important to us. We want to support certifiers who work across many agricultural sectors. That’s because many coffee growing systems are quite rustic - with the mixture of shade and erosion trees that dot the landscape of coffee plantations, they tend to look more like a forest than a corn field. By supporting organic farming in general, we hope to encourage similarly ecologically-minded approaches to other types of food.
Our commitment to organic can be seen in the variety of coffees we have on offer. By having our George Street Espresso Blend, decaf, and at least one single origin certified organic by the Soil Association, we make sure you will always be able to choose what kind of coffee you want to support.