Organic coffee is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. These growing practices help maintain a healthy environment and clean ground water. Once harvested, the coffee beans must be processed in organically certified mills and roasting facilities to be sold as certified organic.
Many of the coffees we buy are grown using organic methods but are not certified as such. Official certification requires farms to submit to three years of soil testing, and annual testing thereafter, to verify they are using accepted organic farming practices.
Starbucks has offered certified organic coffee since 2000. In fiscal 2002, we purchased over 1.7 million pounds (770,000 kilograms) of certified organic coffee.