Coffee Certifications Explained
James Hoffmann James Hoffmann
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 Published On Jun 30, 2022

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This video breaks down four coffee certifications, and a couple of company's buying programs, into digestible sections, which I hope will help you make more informed decisions when buying coffee. There’s a lot of detail behind the logos that you see on bags of coffee in the grocery store and this video aims to clarify the different approaches these certifications take so you can decide which one best overlaps with your values.

Timestamps
0:00 Introduction to these six certifications
3:31 How I use Notion for this video & beyond
4:41 How to approach certifications
5:59 Price premiums for coffee
12:04 Farming practices
14:35 Labour Practices
16:20 Eligibility: who can get certified?
18:43 Who pays for the cost of certification?
20:33 How certifications impact coffee quality
23:00 Certifications in specialty coffee
24:49 Closing thoughts & feedback

Fairtrade International:
https://www.fairtrade.net/about/fairtrade-system
https://www.fairtrade.net/standard/spo
https://www.fairtrade.net/standard/minimum-price-info

Other Fair Trade entities:
Fair Trade USA https://www.fairtradecertified.org/about-us/our-history/
https://wfto.com/who-we-are
https://shop.equalexchange.coop/pages/about-us
FLOCERT:
https://www.flocert.net/solutions/fairtrade/fairtrade-overview/
https://www.flocert.net/solutions/fairtrade/cost-calculator/
Compliance checklist for Fairtrade International: https://www.flocert.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/small-producers-compliance-criteria.pdf

Rainforest Alliance:
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/about/
Regenerative coffee scorecard: https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/regnerative-coffee-scorecard.pdf
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/resource-item/2020-sustainable-agriculture-standard-farm-requirements/
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2020-program-assess-address.pdf
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/business/certification/how-much-does-rainforest-alliance-certification-cost/
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Sustainability-Differential-and-Sustainability-Investment-Coffee-Sector-Guidance-document.pdf

Organic resources:
https://www.ams.usda.gov/publications/content/what-organic-certification
https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/organic
https://organic.ams.usda.gov/Integrity/Default.aspx
https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/organic-farming/legislation_en
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/organic-food-labelling-rules
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/842/contents/made
https://www.soilassociation.org/media/23380/gb-food-drink.pdf

Smithsonian Bird Friendly:
https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/bird-friendly
https://nationalzoo.si.edu/sites/default/files/documents/the_essential_bird_friendly_toolkit.pdf
https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/bird-friendly-farm-criteria

Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices:
https://stories.starbucks.com/press/2020/cafe-practices-starbucks-approach-to-ethically-sourcing-coffee/
SCS Global scorecards for Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices: https://www.scsglobalservices.com/services/starbucks-cafe-practices
https://stories.starbucks.com/press/2019/building-a-sustainable-future-for-coffee-together/

Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program:
https://www.sustainability.nespresso.com/aaa-sustainable-quality-program
https://www.nespresso.com/pro/nl/en/our-choices/sustainable-quality/teaming-certification
https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/resource-item/lessons-learned-nespresso-aaa-sustainable-quality-program/
Nespresso AAA Program & Agroforestry, Global Assessment Report 2014-2020: https://nestle-nespresso.com/sites/site.prod.nestle-nespresso.com/files/PPxNespresso_Global%20Assessment%2014-21%20-%20FINAL%20041922-Light%20version.pdf

Other Reports:
International Trade Center’s report ‘The Coffee Guide’, Fourth Edition, 2021 https://www.intracen.org/publications/coffee-guide

‘Coffee in crisis offers a lesson in resilience: evidence from Guatemala’: a COSA (Committee on Sustainability Assessment’) research paper, published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. https://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/CB1350EN

‘Impacts of Certification on Small Coffee Farmers’ Western Kenya, 2014-2017. Prepared by COSA for the ISEAL Alliance: https://thecosa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/COSA-ISEAL-Kenya-Endline-May-2019-final-1.pdf

Special thanks to Daniele Giovannucci from the Committee on Sustainability Assessment for his time and insight.

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