Are your Hawaiian coffees Organic, Fair Trade, or GMO?

Organic and Fair Trade coffees are uncommon in Hawaii for economic, logistic, and policy reasons. But that doesn't mean Hawaiian coffees are "un-fair" or dangerous.

Most people are concerned because they've heard that coffees are sprayed with an abundance of toxic chemicals. This is true in places where monocultured coffees are common, coffee diseases are highly evolved and can withstand chemical use, and pesticide regulations are slim, like Brazil.

This is not true for Hawai’i. Of the 1000+ Hawai’i coffee farms, approximately 95% are small polyculture farms under 20 acres. In addition, Hawaiian and Kona coffees have enjoyed a relatively pest and disease-free existance until 2010, when Coffee Berry Borer was accidently introduced.

In developing treatments, the Hawai’i Department of Agriculture is generally conservative with what it approves. For example, the treatment used for Coffee Berry Borer is a parasitic fungus called Beauveria Bassiana. Itʻs not registered as organic, however, because the treatment contains a surfactant which protects it from washing off in the rain.

Additionally, organic fertilizers tend to reduce coffee yield, which motivates producers to clear cut more land or cut corners.

As for Fair Trade, U.S. wage laws render Fair Trade certification largely redundant in the United States.

Learn more here.

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