Organic coffee is a coffee of the highest grade grown and produced without any use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, nitrogen, phosphate, potash, additives and other synthetic substances. If these were ever used on the soil prior to the inspection, it takes a minimum three years period of no synthetics before the region can be labelled as organic. In other words, organic coffee beans are enjoying natural environmental conditions as they are growing. The notion of “organic coffee” or NonGMP coffee would apply to 100% of all coffee beans grown in the world 100 years ago or earlier. Today, organic coffee’s growing and fertilizing standards need to apply to at least 95% of the coffee beans as stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Outside the US, the Inspection is carried out by multiple for-profit and non-profit regional organisations. In the USA this mission is performed by the USDA.
According to the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Latin America produces 75% of all the organic coffee in the world while Indonesia and Ethiopia are the largest producers of organic coffee beans outside the Latin America region.