Certifications on coffee—just like the Swiss Water® logo itself—let you know a great deal about the background of the coffee you’re buying. Certifications can tell you everything from whether a coffee was grown and harvested sustainably to how the farmers who grew it were paid. Certifications can tell you if the coffee is suitable for consumption under religious laws, and they can tell you whether a coffee is part of an empowering economic supply chain.
“Third-party certifications provide a level of reliability and trust to supply chains that many coffee drinkers want,” says Swiss Water Director of Coffee Mike Strumpf.
Unroasted coffee often comes to our facility with several certifications, like Organic, Fairtrade, and Rainforest Alliance—and it’s part of our job to ensure that these certifications remain intact. In addition, coffees leave our warehouse with one more logo on the bag—the Swiss Water® insignia, which guarantees that the coffee has undergone a 100%-chemical-free, organic process to remove caffeine and add nothing else. Sounds like a win to us!
“In this ever-changing world in which we live in, more eyes on a system create more traceability and more reliability,” says Strumpf. “All of the certifications Swiss Water Decaf uses provide reliability to different aspects of the coffee world.” and we hope that one of our certifications covers what is important to you.”
Here’s more about some of the certifications you may see on our coffee sacks:
The Swiss Water® Process is certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association, the world’s largest organic certification agency, in accordance with standards developed by the USDA National Organic Program. Our decaffeination facility conforms to the OCIA’s rigorous standards. The organic integrity of our operation ensures organic coffee beans maintain their organic certification through the decaffeination and onto the coffee roaster.
Fairtrade connects farmers, businesses, and consumers in sustainable and meaningful ways. Fairtrade principles exist to ensure fair prices, fair labor conditions, democratic and transparent organizations, community development, and environmental sustainability.
Rainforest Alliance Certified™
Being Rainforest Alliance Certified™ isn’t just about trees. It’s about the people who live in the Rainforest – and the farms they work on. With continual improvements, such as linking sustainable farm management with coffee quality, connecting responsible producers and traders with innovative companies, and creating better markets, the seal ensures conservation of forests, rivers, soils, and wildlife. It also guarantees that workers and their families are respected, paid decent wages, and have access to education and medical care. In 2021, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance will complete a merging of their certification standard which will make the Rainforest Alliance certification more impactful than ever!
UTZ certification has many requirements of its coffee growers and in return helps ensure farmers get the resources they need. Certified producers train employees on health and safety procedures, plus the correct use of pesticides and emergency procedures. It also helps implement proper record keeping and encourages the use of sustainable energy sources. With UTZ, agrochemicals are used responsibly and certified producers protect trees and prevent soil erosion, which all adds up to more sustainable farms.
The Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C) is a certification which aims to gradually raise the social, economic and environmental conditions of coffee production and processing worldwide. They are almost entirely business to business and are thus an almost unknown brand to consumers, but there is more 4C certified coffee than any other sustainable certification. 4C certified farms are 65% smallholders and uphold principles across economic, social, and environmental dimensions.
Swiss Water® Process meets the strictest standards of kosher law—Kashrus. We are certified Kosher by the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of British Columbia. BC Kosher is recognized throughout the world by all rabbinical associations.
Halal certification ensures that food can be eaten by individuals who observe the laws and teachings of Islam regarding the consumption of food and drink. Halal certification ensures that products are produced in facilities where they are safe from contamination of non-Halal substances. This certification indicates that food products not only fulfill Halal requirements, but are produced in accordance with strict hygiene practices. We are certified Halal by the Montreal Halal Certification Authority.