What label is on your coffee and what does it mean?

I am an avid coffee drinker. My morning ritual starts with putting the pot on to boil filtered water, setting up my french press, making sure I have enough beans in my burr grinder… and all that jazz. I have started to take more care in selecting the coffee that I buy. Checking to see that it’s fair trade certified is one of the criteria (not that that is the be-all, end-all). But I’ve been seeing other certifications/stamps/labels lately too.

On NPR’s The Salt blog, (a great blog on food, btw) they investigate the meaning behind the labels. For example, they give a brief explanation of the Rainforest Alliance Certification:

  • Emphasizes sustainability in social, environmental, economic and ethical areas
  • Developed in early 1990s
  • Recently gained the support of major buyers including McDonalds and Nespresso
  • Expanded from 197 million pounds grown in 2007 to 827 million pounds in 2012

Click through here to see what Fair Trade Certification, USDA Organic, Starbucks and the Smithsonian certifications mean for coffee.

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