South Africans are rapidly adapting to worldwide coffee drinking trends. South Africa is fast becoming a key player in the speciality coffee world, consuming more and more coffee daily. 

Have you ever wondered what all the symbols on your bag of coffee mean? The next time you are confused and not sure what type of coffee to buy, what flavour is best and where it originated from, then taking a couple of minutes to get to know what those interesting symbols on your Cuppa Joy will tell a complete story. 

The Information on Your Bag of Coffee is Quite Uniform – These Include 

  • The Fair Trade Symbol 
  • Roaster Name 
  • Tasting Notes 
  • Roast Level 
  • Variety 
  • Origin 
  • Processing Method 

All these symbols tell the story of your coffee in the bag and how it will taste. The official Fair Trade symbol is something that tells us that your coffee was sourced from ethical coffee producers. 

Read more about Cool Coffee Facts

What the Fair Trade Symbol Represents 

The Fair Trade on your bag of coffee means that the coffee produced has been audited and upholds Fair Trade standards in areas that adhere to the rights of workers and that the coffee is sourced sustainably. 

Fair Trade is the trading of companies in developing countries in which fair prices are paid to the producers. Commodities such as wine, cocoa, coffee, cotton and spirits ensure child labour and unfair practices are not implemented in the production of these products. 

Fair Trade coffee is also sold at a price above the commodity selling price in which the prices usually fluctuate. 

What the Direct Trade Symbol Represents 

The Direct Trade symbol, unlike the Fair Trade Symbolis not a specific certification. This is an individual symbol that certain roasters add to their own branded coffees. 

The Direct Trade symbol is an indication that the roaster had purchased the coffee directly from the coffee producer and not from a middleman (an importer). 

What is Organic Coffee? 

Organic coffee has been grown without the use of pesticides or fertilisers. Organic coffee is grown and harvested the same way as your organic fruit and veg without the harmful application of unnatural chemicals and pesticides. 

The certification of pure organic produce is strict; therefore, organic coffee undergoes stringent certification steps. 

One of the specifications is that organic must be processed at an organic mill especially if the roasting companies are supplying both organic and inorganic coffee. 

What Does the Rainforest Alliance Symbol Represent? 

Other symbols found on your bag of coffee include UTZ (Rainforest Alliance) which means that sustainability is adhered to at farm level, with minimal damaged caused to the environment. 

For individuals that support fair trading practices, are against child labour and are aware of the effects that farming and deforestation have on the world, supporting Fair Trade products is a step towards making this a better world for all to enjoy. 

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