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Not All Ethical Coffees Are The Same

In today's society all coffee consumers have a variety of coffee types to choose from.  The differences range in brands, taste, roasts and flavors.  Despite the coffee bean being a natural component, it is able to affect the economies and ecologies across the globe.  In order to choose the correct type of ethical coffee one must be aware of the different types of coffee currently available.  This article will provide information on the various aspects of ethical coffee, including the environmental impact and eco-friendliness of the brand.

1. The Environmental Impact

Coffee beans can be found in over 80 countries across the globe; however, the means of farming coffee beans does alter dependent on the country and the farmer's desire to yield the best results possible.  Certain farmers opt to utilize chemical fertilizers and pesticides in order to remove damaging influences.  The environmental cost for this increase in effective farming can be great and very damaging.  To create more coffee bean plants, the natural habitats of many animals have been removed; furthermore, the use of chemical components can integrate into the environment and cause animal death.

2. Shade Grown Beans

Despite chemical and synthetic products being used to clean the coffee bean, there are methods whereby the coffee bean is grown in eco-friendly and sustainable ways.  The most well known type of eco-friendly coffee bean is the bean that is shade grown.  Shade grown beans are also known as bird friendly beans as it refers to the coffee plant providing a home for birds and other animals.  One common technique utilized to increase the farming of coffee using this method is to remove the trees that grow coffee beans in rows and replace them a variety of randomized trees.  

While shade grown beans are beneficial to the environment, it does present with some drawbacks.  The main disadvantage of this type of coffee bean growth is that the birds and animals living in the area may be forced to move.  

3. The Organic Bean

An organic coffee bean farm is one that does not utilize chemical pesticides or fertilizers.  Instead it utilizes natural and organic methods to increase the results of this organic grown coffee bean.  A great benefit of this coffee bean is that the item does not include any pesticides and is safer for individuals to eat and drink.  The disadvantage of this type of bean is that one requires specific certification to practice organic farming and many farms choose to ignore this regulation.

4. The Fair Trade Coffee Bean

Fair trade refers to a farming method that is both ecologically and economically effective.  Fair trade buying and selling involves the collaboration of coffee farmers to produce organic products.  This collaboration is then spread across to include certified importers and distributors.  It should be noted that to become a fair trade farmer, importer, and distributor, one will require a specific certification.  

Fair trade systems are very popular nowadays and this seems to be very effective with large coffee roasting companies, such as Starbucks and Seattle's Best.  This allows individuals to support fair trade and provide farmers with enough profit to increase the use of organic equipment.

Final Words On The Matter

As can be seen, the act of drinking coffee involves more than just taking a cup and drinking it.  Obtaining coffee beans involves all features from growing and farming the coffee bean to importing and distributing the product.  As can be seen, the fair trade program is highly beneficial to all; however, it is important that one be aware of all types of coffee farming in order to make the best choice.



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