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We Can't Expect Poor Coffee Farmers in the Developing World to Subsidize A Healthier Planet For Us

10% of organic coffee farmers in Latin America, where 70% of the world's organic coffee is grown, have given up and returned to growing coffee with cancer causing chemicals. Why? Because despite increasing demand for organic coffee, the price the consumer is willing to pay for organic versus conventional is not enough to cover the added cost of organic production.  

Conventionally grown coffee requires 300 pounds of chemical pesticides per acre and another 250 pounds of chemical fertilizer per acre and this poison is cheap. Many of these chemicals have been banned in America because they've been proven to cause cancer and are detrimental for the environment.  Yet you're getting a dose of these cancer causing chemicals every time you drink a cup of conventional coffee.

Not only are organic farming methods more expensive, but organically grown coffee plants yield fewer beans (more flavorful & higher quality, but fewer beans per plant). It's a much more time & expense intensive farming method and if we're truly committed to organics, we must to be willing to pay the premium or prices will go up even more as farmers abandon organic coffee farming and the supply shrinks. We can't expect poor coffee farmers in the developing world to subsidize a healthier world for us.

Blue Smoke Coffee roasts ONLY organic, fair trade, & shade grown beans. My green beans cost twice as much as the beans of my peers, who roast all/mostly conventional beans. But I could roast nothing else for my customers with a clear conscience, because I know the chemicals used in conventional coffee farming are extremely dangerous to humans & the environment.  Organic coffee roasting is also much less profitable than conventional roasting, that is why there are very few 100% organic roasters like Blue Smoke in the industry. If I was motivated purely by money, I wouldn't be roasting organic coffee. Because most of my peers are conventional roasters, I must price Blue Smoke at a similar price as the conventional stuff, or just slightly higher - however in some cases, like in Chattanooga, Blue Smoke is actually cheaper than the conventional coffee offered by the largest roaster in Chattanooga.

So please choose organic coffee, but not just the cheapest organic coffee you can find, like what you may find on the shelves at WalMart - because this 'cheap' organic coffee is offered by large roasters who are a major part of the problem in driving down the price organic farmers are being paid, which is driving them out of organic farming.  It's a down-ward spiral you are supporting when you shop based purely on price.

Blue Smoke is still 100% committed to organic, fair trade & shade grown coffee & hope y'all are as well because I want to see more coffee farmers getting into organic farming, not less. 

Now, go pour yourself another cup of organic Blue Smoke Coffee & feel great that you've made a decision to buy a product not based on price alone, but based on the value organic coffee has on your health and the health of our planet.  Oh and organic, shade grown coffee, like Blue Smoke, also tastes better because shade grown plants are heirloom plants that produce richer, more flavorful tasting beans.

Thank you for very much for reading this and thank you for supporting organic coffee, 

Kevin - Owner/Roaster

Blue Smoke Coffee 

Coffee With A Soul

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