Please read to the bottom, where there’s a link to sign the petition to stop the madness.
IS ORGANIC COFFEE DOOMED? Will organic-coffee lovers need a different kind of fix, soon? Earlier this month, Salon published a story decrying the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent tightening of organic-certification requirements. The main sticking point: These revised standards could drastically cut back on the ability of small grower co-ops to produce organic coffee.
"This ruling could wipe out the organic coffee market in the U.S.," says Kimberly Easson, director of strategic relationships for TransFair USA, which certifies fair-trade products in the United States. Worries that the USDA ruling will jack up costs for small-scale organic producers, and drive them back into conventional commodity markets, also abound.
Rodney North of Equal Exchange tells TreeHugger that this move would decertify "tens of thousands of small-scale organic farmers around the world" currently certified through their farmer co-ops. "This would include most of the world’s Fair Trade Certified co-ops," he says. "Not only would this be a huge economic blow to these farmers and their communities, it would also be a big step backwards for the environment, and would shrink the supply of organic foods (especially coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate, and sugar) for U.S. Consumers."
In response, Equal Exchange and the National Organic Coalition have put together a petition to the USDA. Note: The deadline to sign the petition is Tuesday, April 24th.