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For those of you who are looking for healthy organic coffee and are constantly befuddled by unclear labeling, here is a handy guide to organic coffee labeling. Ever since 2002 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has had strict guidelines defining what constitutes organic coffee and any other organic food or drink. Another issue that we address in our guide to organic coffee labeling is that there are many great organic coffees such as some of the Colombian organic coffee brands that abide by different sets of standards such as UTZ and do not seek USDA organic coffee certification.
USDA Rules and Regulations for Organic Coffee
Organic coffee is a single ingredient food. As such coffee that qualifies as USDA organic coffee will have a USDA Organic label. When a food in general and specifically a coffee product has more than one ingredient you may see labeling such as 100% organic, organic, or made with organic ingredients. Only 100% organic coffee bears the USDA organic seal. Here is the breakdown:00% Organic (This means what it says. The package contains 100% organic products.)
• Organic (95% to 99% of this bag of coffee is organic.)
• Made with organic ingredients (This label means that 70% to 94% of the bag by weight is organic coffee.
• And, products with some organic ingredients may list them on the package as being organic ingredients.