Organic Coffee Certification Requirements: Benefits at Origin
Another aspect of Organic Coffee Certification is the use of ecological methods to control pests and diseases. Many coffee farms use chemical pesticides and fungicides to combat these pests and diseases. In organic coffee production, certification allows only certain methods of control. Chemical treatments are not allowed under the various certification standards, and several methods have been developed to combat problems in coffee production. One method, developed by UCIRI co-op in Mexico uses a special brew of crush and aged mushrooms to combat the Broka Beetle, a pest that attacks the coffee seed of coffee trees by boring inside of the bean as larva.
Organic coffee farms are nearly always cultivated under the shade provided by the canopy of intact tropical rainforests. These plantations in turn provide habitat for many of our migrating songbirds. Other wildlife benefits from organic coffee farms because there is no chemical or other hazardous additives in the area, allowing them to remain in good health. Plant diversity is also retained on Organic coffee farms through the propagation of different species of trees and plants that are both beneficial to the production of coffee, as well as being native to the area.
Coffee farmers are required to minimize soil erosion and compaction by researching and implementing methods of reforestation as well as maintaining forested areas as directed by local and international guidelines.
Waterways are protected by the minimization of polluting runoff from Organic coffee farms. Reduction of water usage, recirculation of water whenever possible and the implementation of anaerobic digestion systems to clean the water after use are other methods used to reduce damage to local water systems.