Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters:
Benefits of Certified Organic Coffee
Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters sells to commercial businesses and residents through various distribution
methods, offering only dual-certified organic and Bird-Friendly® specialty coffees.
We became a certified coffee roaster for the Smithsonian
Institution Migratory Bird Center’s Bird-Friendly coffees because they have very stringent guidelines (like a minimum
canopy height of 12 m and foliage cover of 40%, as well as
a mix of shade trees > 10 species) that strive for positive social, economic and environmental impacts around the
world. One requirement is that the Bird-Friendly coffee farm
must be certified organic.
We are also a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic-certified coffee roaster, which requires very stringent
guidelines on harvesting, processing, and manufacturing
products claiming to be organic. The USDA is the gatekeeper of all things organic, accrediting any organic certification agency whose certified products enter the U.S.
marketplace. In terms of quality control and food safety, it
is, essentially, the “certifier of the certifiers.” Moreover, all
organic and Bird Friendly coffees must be tracked and kept
separate from other non-certified coffees, thus assuring
consumers that they truly receive what they are purchasing—no mix-ups with these rigorous guidelines.
Many years ago, when the coffee plant was first discovered, it was found growing in a natural forest habitat under
other tree canopies and among many diverse plants, trees
and bushes. This type of coffee farm was called a shade-farm but was transformed over time to sun-farms by clear-cutting all of the trees and bushes on the farms.
These farms require extensive pesticide and fertilizer
input, an issue of great concern in terms of overall safety in
production and consumption of coffee. Not only is the coffee produced on the organic farms supplying us with its
bird-friendly coffee free of any prohibited agrochemicals,
but the farmers also avoid being exposed to toxic substances. Chemically treated sun-farms cause a decrease in
migratory and native birds, environmental pollution, deforestation, soil degradation and water degradation.
By producing organic coffee, we affect the overall safety
of our product for consumers by the following:
Farming – Improving the quality of the soil is the basis
for organic. The farm’s soil must be free of prohibited substances for a minimum of 3 years prior to harvesting crops
that will be labeled organic. The National Organic Program
(NOP) encourages farmers to improve soil fertility and rotate
crops to naturally increase crop yields and disease resistance, as well as eliminate the use of synthetic, petroleum
based agricultural inputs—many of which are toxic to a
wide range of organisms.
Harvesting/processing – Organic crops are picked, cut,
cleaned in the field and kept separate from any non-organic
produce. To ensure organic integrity, certifying these opera-
tions through inspections and records keeping is manda-
tory. Equipment used for harvesting and processing must
be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with NOP require-
ments. For example, a coffee processing plant must sepa-
rate organic and non-organic coffee either by processing it
at different times (with thoroughly cleaned equipment) or by
using dedicated machinery used only for organic coffee.