Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Labels - Eggs and Coffee

Small Measure just had a post talking about the many different labels that eggs can have, ie:
  1. Animal Welfare ApprovedAmerican
  2. Humane Certified, or Certified Humane
  3. Cage Free
  4. Free Range  
  5. Natural
  6. Organic
  7. Pasture Raised
  8. United Egg Producers Certified     
I think you should check it out, it's a quick read with some good information.

It was funny that I read this yesterday afternoon because al morning I was thinking about the differnt coffee labels and which is best for the world, the farmer, and for me.  Here are the ones that I could think of:
  1.  Fair Trade- Coffee which is purchased directly from the growers for a higher price than standard coffee. Fair Trade coffee is one of many Fair Trade certified products available around the world. The purpose of fair trade is to promote healthier working conditions and greater economic incentive for producers. Coffee farmers producing Fair Trade certified coffee are required to be part of a coop with other local growers. The coops determine how the premiums from Fair Trade coffee will be spent. Growers are guaranteed a minimum price for the coffee, and if market prices exceed the minimum, they receive a per pound premium
  2. Shade Grown- Coffee grown under a canopy of trees. Because it incorporates principles of natural ecology to promote natural ecological relationships, shade-grown coffee can be considered an offshoot of agricultural permaculture.
  3. Organic Coffee - Coffee that has been certified as having been grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
  4. ECO-O.K - Labeling program co-managed by the Rainforest Alliance, applicable to coffee and other agricultural products. Firms pay a licensing fee to use an identifying logo; they are subject to a "chain of custody" auditing procedure that monitors the flow of product from farm to consumer. ECO-O.K. certification addresses a wide range of issues: fair treatment of workers, community relations, minimizing use of agrochemicals, integrated waste management, and conservation of water, soil, wildlife, and the entire ecosystem. 
  5. Mountain-grown coffee - Generally means coffee grown above 4,000 feet. Associated with a denser, harder, more flavorful bean because the fruits mature more slowly. High-elevation coffee is often shaded by near-constant cloud cover rather than a leafy canopy. 
 The list goes on and on.  Once you decide on a type of coffee, you then have the coffee shops to think about.  Local serving non fair trade vs. chain with organic shade-grown??? 

What do you think?  What kind of coffee do you buy to drink at home?  What types of coffee shops do you support?  What do you drink at work?

Here are some more labels for you.


Amber said...

Yep, all those labels can be really confusing.

I buy a fair trade, shade grown, organic coffee that is locally roasted and the best part about it, is that the bag is compostable! Oh and also, it tastes great too.

When I get coffee out, I get it at Bridehead, a local business here in Ottawa.

I count myself really lucky to live in a city with these great options.

When I travel, if I don't have access to fair trade coffee, then I simply don't drink it.

For me, coffee is an indulgence, a luxury and a special treat. Sometimes I indulge in it on a daily basis, sometimes I take a break and go off coffee for weeks or months at a time. But I do love it and always look forward to that next cup of joe!

Tony R. said...

There is just so much "bad" stuff you have to wade through to do the right thing. I am really glad that we have started to do more and more research about the products that we use and the companies that we decide to support.

Here at home, we are drinking a fair-trade, organic coffee but not shade grown. I know only go to two local coffee shops because they are the only ones in town that I have found that serve fair trade coffee. I think one is also organic.

I agree with you about coffee being an indulgence. I heard somewhere that those that have the luxury to take care of the world should do just that.

That means that I to skip coffee nowadays if it is not fair trade.