Organic coffee, noun: Coffee that is cultivated and processed according to organic standards and/or biodynamically. Its quality is certified with the EU organic seal and the seals of the farmers associations. (see also: organic cultivation) Also often associated with fair trade, i.e., socio-ethical working conditions. It is the opposite of industrial coffee.
Organic cultivation (also called organic farming): Companion planting with shade trees (casuarina /yam tree, banana, papaya, etc.), mostly laid out in small coffee gardens with 10-30 trees. The consequences: Water conservation, healthy soil and pest-resistant plants. No pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetic engineering are used. The coffee is harvested by hand; only truly ripe beans are picked (picking) – in contrast to stripping used in industrial coffee. Each farmer is strictly monitored in order to be able to guarantee organic cultivation. Organic certifications are expensive, which, in addition to the higher costs for the cultivation and harvest, is the reason behind the higher price for organic coffee. Despite this, its popularity continues to spread, in particular if it’s also certified fair trade like Mount Hagen.
Organic standard, noun: Describes the criteria and restrictions for permission to use a specific organic seal. Compliance should be ensured via documentation requirements, regular monitoring and samples. Seals include the EU organic seal (previously: the organic hexagon, now: the organic leaf) as well as the seals of various farmers associations such as Demeter, Naturland, Bioland, Ecoland, Biokreis, Biopark and Gaä. Their principles go far beyond those of the EU ordinances. Note that terms such as “integrated,” “controlled contract farming,” “environmentally friendly” and “close to nature” have nothing to do with organic. Don’t let yourself be fooled!
Remer, Raimund: Austrian master farmer and renowned expert in biodynamic agriculture. In 1988, he agreed to go to Papua New Guinea in order to convert the Rui Plantation in Mount Hagen to Demeter standards. He was accompanied by his wife, Dr. Ulrike Remer, also an expert in biodynamic farming. He spent the previous 25 years working at the famous Wurzerhof, which promoted the overall development of the Austrian Demeter movement. He was the co-founder of the Austrian Demeter Association. After several years of intensive work on location, the first biodynamic certified coffee was able to be shipped to us in Hamburg in 1992. The project reports back then, which were written with particular care especially with regard to flora and fauna, are still an extremely fascinating read and can still be viewed by interested parties. Raimund Remer is currently working on the development of humus and nitrogen to improve the plant sociology of plant and humus collectors in our forests. He primarily works at the Bauckhof in Amelinghausen. (see also: Journey Through Time)
Transfair, association: It was founded in 1992 under its official name: “TransFair – Verein zur Förderung des Fairen Handels mit der ‚Dritten Welt‘ e. V.” (Society for the Promotion of Fair Trade with the Third World). Headquartered in Cologne, it is responsible for awarding products with fair trade seals in Germany. (see: fairtrade-deutschland.de)