Let's talk about what it means to earn the "organic" label. According to USDA, in order to become organic certified coffee, a coffee farm must meet these requirements:
- The farm cannot use any synthetic pesticides or any substances that have been prohibited within the past three years.
- The farm must exhibit great & sustainable crop rotation to avoid soil erosion and nutrient loss. (This is a result of the Dust Bowl in the United States during the Great Depression).
- Any plan to do pest prevention must be accomplished naturally and not synthetically.
- The coffee has to pass an analysis and inspection prior to being labeled as organic and being sold in the United States as such.
In addition to seeing the organic label on coffee packaging, you might also see "Bird-friendly labels". When a coffee farmer has been allowed to label coffee as organic & is certified as an organic grower, they can apply for the label if they use shade (natural) for growing coffee. This means that the beans are shaded from the sun by trees and other plants instead of screen or buildings.