What are Certifications?
Certifications provide traceable, third party accountable, ecological and environmental standards, as well as standards of social responsibility in the handling of coffee and fair treatment for those who produce coffee. Producers who achieve certifications have greater market access, therefore better prices for their raw coffee.
Below are only a few of many certifications ascribed to by Share Collective, Inc.
According to the USDA, National Organic Program, “Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.” Certification simply ascribes and is confirmed annually by the agency of USDA to follow these guidelines.
Fair Trade Certification
According to a GlobeScan Study, 73% of consumers that are aware of and familiar with the Fair Trade Certified label also trust it. The Fair Trade Certified™ label seeks to ensure consumers that the farmers and workers behind the product got a better deal. Even as Share Collective, Inc. (and Roastery) opens the door to Fair Trade coffees, we also recognize that costs for this certification are simply not feasible for all producers, and there are cases where the producers do not greatly benefit from this certification. Therefore, Share Collective, Inc. advocates for and advances the work of small lot producers who have little to no access to the greater markets but produce a bio-friendly, if not fully certified organic product.
“Strictly High Grown” (SHG) is, in general, a Specialty Coffee classification. It indicates that the coffee was grown at an altitude above 1200 meters/4000 feet. Beans grown at a higher altitude, have a greater density, and thus a better specialty cup. It is synonymous with SHB, Strictly Hard Bean, the classification used in Costa Rica for the same grade of coffee.
European Preparation (EP) is used in Central and South America, indicating that additional hand sorting has been performed on the coffee at the mill after optical, high speed, sorting. This laborious extra step allows only 8 defects per 300 g of raw coffee, insuring a “nearly perfect” beginning product. The fewer the defects, the better the end cup.
Rain Forest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal is an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social and economic sustainability that helps both businesses and consumers do their part to ensure a brighter future. At the heart of the Rainforest Alliance’s approach is the understanding that the health of the land is inextricably connected to the wellbeing of those who depend on it for their livelihoods.