Organic Coffee Collaboration Press Release September 2009 - Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association
   twitter   facebook   linked In   rss

Organic Coffee Collaboration Press Release September 2009


Organic Coffee is Hot on College Campuses
College food services increasingly choose organic coffee despite economy

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2009                             
Contact: Sandra Marquardt, 301-592-0077,

GREENFIELD, Mass.  Whether a result of bottom-up pressure from students or top-down decision-making from proactive faculty and food service administrators, organic coffee is more available than ever on college campuses these days, according to the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA).  

For example, Caffe Ibis (Logan, UT) has seen sales of its triple-certified (organic, Fair Trade Certified™, and Bird Friendly®) coffees increase dramatically over last year at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT), and Utah State University (Logan, UT), the result of both expanded availability and, in the case of the University of Utah, benefactors, faculty and students alike urging the food service to “green” its offerings.

Equator Estate Coffees & Teas (San Rafael, CA) has provided organic coffees to the City College of San Francisco since 2007 and is expanding into college food services nationwide by providing organic coffee to Feel Good World
, a student-run social venture to raise money and consciousness about world hunger and sustainability at campuses across the country. Working hand-in-hand with the organization, Equator is developing a coffee service program at ten college locations, including the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia University (New York City, NY), and the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ).

Selling its Fair Trade organic coffee to over 175 colleges and universities nationwide, Green Mountain Coffee (Waterbury, VT) has seen these sales triple over the past two years.  Key locations include Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), the University of Massachusetts (Boston, MA), and, of course, the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT).

Through several brand initiatives, S&D Coffee (Concord, NC) currently supplies organic, Fair Trade, and Rain Forest Alliance certified coffees to over 400 colleges and universities.

Decaffeinated coffee is also popular among college students and administrators who enjoy a good cup of coffee but need to reduce their caffeine intake.  Much of the decaf on campus has been decaffeinated using Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company’s (Vancouver, Canada) process, as it uses only water to extract caffeine from the coffee beans. A new company using carbon dioxide (CO2) for the decaffeination process, Maximus Coffee Group (Houston, TX), just got certified to the federal organic standards, and its products will hit the college market soon.

“The switch to organic coffee on campus is happening despite the current state of the economy,” said Christine Bushway, OTA Executive Director.

The North American organic coffee market reached 1.3 billion dollars in 2008, according to Daniele Giovannucci, author of the recent North American Organic Coffee Industry Survey: 2009. The amount of organic coffee imported into the United States and Canada increased 12 percent during 2008, rising from approximately 81 million pounds to approximately 89 million pounds with most of the sales taking place in the United States. The 29 percent annual average growth rate for the organic category documented by Giovannucci between 2000 and 2008 dwarfs the estimated 1.5 percent projected annual growth rate of the conventional coffee industry. The survey is available from the Organic Trade Association.

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, avoid the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, avoid the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.

The Organic Coffee Collaboration - a project of the Organic Trade Association, the business association for the North American organic industry, includes the companies listed below. These participants represent some of the newest companies in the market as well as well known firms that source, decaffeinate, or roast for the largest coffee companies in the United States.

CAFFE IBIS (Logan, UT) - An award-winning “green business,” Caffe Ibis is a custom coffee roasting house featuring triple certified—organic, Fair Trade, and Smithsonian Shade Grown “Bird-Friendly®”- coffees, mountain grown, mountain roasted. Caffe Ibis® also operates a celebrated gallery/deli-licious espresso bar. University franchise, private label, equipment programs, monthly specials, and consulting services are available.

CHIAPAS FARMS (Austin, TX) - Chiapas Farms specializes in superior fair trade foods.  Its Café de Chiapas coffee is from an organic/fair trade cooperative in the Chiapas, Mexico, highlands. The coffee has a nutty and buttery taste with a smooth, slightly sweet finish.  The product is offered in dark and medium roast, and is available online.

CRIMSON CUP (Columbus, OH) - Since 1991, Crimson Cup® Coffee & Tea has roasted and packaged great-tasting coffee in Columbus, Ohio. Led by Harvard “Crimson” graduate Greg Ubert, Crimson Cup offers a full line of certified organic Fair Trade coffee and teas to over 350 coffee houses, colleges and universities and grocers throughout 26 states.

ELAN ORGANIC COFFEES (San Diego, CA) - Elan Organic Coffees is a coffee developer and importer offering certified organic socially responsible and Bird Friendly® coffees it has developed through partnerships with village co-ops in coffee-producing countries. Elan pioneered the supply of the world’s finest certified organic coffees, while supporting farmers and protecting the environment.

EQUATOR ESTATE COFFEES & TEAS (San Rafael, CA) - Equator is known for its distinctive specialty coffees, socially responsible sourcing, and longstanding relationships with prominent chefs and national retailers who are passionate about quality. The women-owned company procures exceptional certified organic coffees from farmers who practice environmental stewardship, resulting in an empowered supply chain from crop to cup.

GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE (Waterbury, VT) - Green Mountain Coffee is recognized as a leader in the specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees and socially and environmentally responsible business practices.  Green Mountain Coffee offers a broad selection of double-certified organic and Fair Trade coffees under the Green Mountain Coffee® and Newman's Own® Organics brands.

MAXIMUS COFFEE GROUP (Houston, TX) - Maximus Coffee Group’s carbon dioxide (CO2) / triple-filtered water decaffeination process is the only decaffeination plant in the United States that supplies coffee both naturally decaffeinated and USDA Organic certified. It is an EPA Green Power Partner with one-third of its energy coming from alternative sources.

ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION (Greenfield, MA) - OTA’s mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. OTA's members include farmers, processors, importers, distributors, retailers, certifiers, and more.

S&D COFFEE (Concord, NC) - S&D is the second largest coffee roaster in the United States supplying both conventional and organic coffees.  The company feels strongly about fostering sustainable agriculture and promoting a healthy planet. Quality Assurance International (QAI) certifies S&D’s six organic coffees sold under the Buffalo & Spring label.

SWISS WATER DECAFFEINATED COFFEE COMPANY (Burnaby, BC, Canada) - A wholesome process for decaffeinating coffee – pure water, 100% chemical free – ensures the best of the bean remains, while only caffeine is removed.  Swiss Water decaffeinates organic coffees for premium roasters. Look for the SWISS WATER® seal on packs or in stores to guarantee remarkable tasting 99.9% caffeine-free coffee.

TRUE ORIGIN ORGANICS (Weston, FL, and Bogotá, Colombia) - True Origin Organics premium Colombian coffee hails from the magnificent Santa Marta and Tierradentro valleys. Like fine wine, this coffee has one true origin.  It is harvested, roasted and packed right where it grows. True Origins Organics is available at East Coast specialty and natural stores and mid-Atlantic Whole Foods Markets.

See for further information on the Organic Coffee Collaboration.

*(For space reasons, only a few of the many colleges/universities offering organic coffee are listed.)


2014 Annual Fund

Research and Promotion 2012