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NEW YORK CITY (May 13, 2008) – The North American organic coffee market reached one billion dollars in 2007, according to new data released today during a sampling event featuring new organic coffees. The event was hosted by the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), at New York City’s popular Union Square Cafe.
Participants in the Collaboration are: Dallis Coffee (New York City, NY), Elan Organic Coffees (San Diego, CA), Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA), Fresh Harvest Products (New York City, NY), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT), and Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Vancouver, Canada).
The amount of organic coffee imported into the U.S. and Canada increased 29 percent from 2006-2007 from approximately 65 million pounds to approximately 84 million pounds, according to Mr. Daniele Giovannucci, author of the upcoming North American Organic Coffee Industry Survey, who presented the data at the event. Most of the coffee was sold in the United States. The survey will soon be available from the Organic Trade Association.
“By purchasing any of the delicious and high quality organic coffees available today, consumers are helping protect the environment around the world,” said Caren Wilcox, OTA executive director.
Giovannucci estimates the organic coffee sector now represents 3 percent of the total U.S. green coffee imports in 2007, growing an average of 32 percent annually between 2000 and 2007. This growth dwarfs the estimated 2 percent annual growth rate of the conventional coffee industry. Organic coffee is grown in 40 countries worldwide, including the United States (Hawaii).
According to Giovannucci, factors driving the increase in organic coffee production and consumption include: growth in values-based purchasing (including the desire to support organic production practices) and personal health or food safety concerns.
The perennial Zagat-favorite Union Square Cafe is one of the many restaurants and other food establishments across the United States offering organic coffees to their discriminating clientele.
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:
- Dallis Coffee (New York, NY) – A leading provider of organic and Fair Trade Certified™ coffees, selling to Whole Foods, universities and top cafés and restaurants across the country.
- Elan Organic Coffees (San Diego, CA) - Elan Organic Coffees is a coffee developer and importer offering a line of certified organic socially responsible coffees it has developed through partnerships with village co-ops in coffee producing countries. Elan has pioneered the supply of the world’s finest certified organic coffees, while supporting farmers and protecting the environment.
- Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA) - Worker-owned, Fair Trade Certified™ cooperative and one of the largest U.S. organic coffee roasters.
- Fresh Harvest Products, Inc. (New York, NY) - Its Wings of Nature® brand coffees are small-batch roasted to a temperature that peaks the flavor and aroma of each bean, and then custom blended after roasting to provide unique and flavorful varieties.
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT) - Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is recognized as a leader in the specialty coffee industry for its award-winning coffees and socially responsible business practices. The company offers a broad selection of double-certified organic and Fair Trade coffees under the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters® and Newman’s Own® Organics brands.
- Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Vancouver, 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 companies including Elan Organic Coffees and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Look for the SWISS WATER® logo on pack or in store to guarantee great tasting, 99.9% caffeine-free coffee.
Daniele Giovannucci, a former food company executive and senior consultant to the World Bank Group, is the world's most widely published author on coffee and sustainability issues. His books include "State of Sustainable Coffee" and he teaches post-graduate courses focused on sustainability. See www.dgiovannucci.net for more information.