A Certified Organic coffee is one that comes from a farm that is Certified Organic, and then also roasted and packaged by a facility that is Certified Organic. These coffees require a certificate and inspection for all parties involved in handling them throughout the supply chain. Ruby is currently working toward achieving third party Certified Organic status so that we will be able to advertise coffees our own organic offerings appropriately.
Achieving organic certification can be a tricky and somewhat risky process for coffee famers. In many places, like Kenya, fertilizers tend to be nitrogen based and provided by government run agricultural organizations, so it becomes tricky for each individual farmer to grow their coffee organically. In other places, it's nearly impossible to prevent insect damage without a barrier of insecticide sprayed on the outer edges of the farm. But, for the most part, Ruby works with producers who meet all or nearly all of the Certified Organic farming standards — they just might not hold the Certified Organic status themselves.
Organic certification can be also be an expensive process. The farms need to undergo extensive checks and inspections in order to qualify, and that process can be quite costly. Most smaller farms choose to invest their money into equipment that can help improve the processing of their coffee, as better quality coffee often can reach a much higher premium that an organic certification.
We believe that Certified Organic status is important because it ensures a clear standard for consumers and a higher standard of agricultural practices. Ruby's headquarters in Nelsonville, WI is located among miles and miles of farmland, and we believe that organic certification ensures that farms are operating as responsible stewards of the land. We also understand that just because a farm we work with isn't able to achieve Certified Organic status, it doesn't mean they're not following pristine environmental practices during planting, harvesting, and processing.
We're excited to promote farms and producers that are able to achieve Certified Organic status, and that's a main driver for Ruby completing our own third party Certified Organic status so that we'll be able to ensure those coffees meet 100% of the standards.
We're also excited for the conversation that organic certification can start, and how that can help highlight the farmers that we work with who follow great harvest practices but are not able to afford the certification.
We hope to have some labelled Certified Organic offerings by the end of 2021 or early 2022. In the meantime, if you are looking for an organic coffee that cannot be labeled as certified, please get contact us and we'll let you know which ones on the menu meet those criteria.