Certified coffee choices – do you know the difference?

There are three “types” of international, NGO-led certification programmes: organic, fair-trade and sustainable.

  • Organic is a farm management system that aims to eliminate synthetic pesticides
  • Fairtrade is an alternative trading system that aims to ensure an equitable deal for disadvantaged smallholder farms
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified Sustainable is a collaboration to help coffee farmers earn a decent living, improve their quality of life and conserve the environment.

Rainforest Alliance Certification, Fairtrade and Organic are all important, credible, programmes, managed by NGOs. They all have 15 years or more working in developing countries; they all use standards, farm auditing systems and certification as tools to advance their cause of helping farmers; they all use ecolabels to convey their messages to consumers; and they have similar objectives but different approaches .All three are important and necessary.


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