6 Regenerative Organic Certifications for Coffee

As the sustainability of our food systems is a deep concern, regenerative organic certification emerges as a good signal for conscious consumers. Regenerative agriculture method is a big change from the old way of farming that hurts the soil and nature. Instead, it helps to heal and improve the land.

6 Regenerative Organic Certifications for Coffee

1. Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC)


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A vanguard in regenerative agriculture, ROC takes organic certification to the next level. It focuses on revitalizing ecosystems through regenerative soil practices, prioritizing carbon sequestration, and fostering biodiversity. It also ensures equitable pay and safe working conditions for farmers and workers. 

This certification is unique in its holistic approach, combining environmental sustainability with social justice to advance the welfare of all stakeholders involved in the agricultural process.

  • Scope: Global, applicable to any agricultural product, including coffee.
  • Description: A holistic certification program emphasizing the regeneration of soil health, promoting ecosystems, and enhancing farmer and community well-being.
  • Main areas of application: Applies to all aspects of farming, from soil and land management to animal welfare and social fairness.
  • How to apply: Producers must comply with organic standards as a baseline and then meet the additional ROC criteria through a verified application process.

2. Regenagri Certification


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Regenagri Certification is designed to support and promote the transition to regenerative agriculture globally. It facilitates the development of farming systems that are capable of restoring the land and making farms more productive and profitable. 

The certification also encourages biodiversity, the recovery of natural habitats, and the reduction of carbon emissions. By focusing on dynamic soil health, it helps farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions and secure the longevity of their land.

  • Scope: International, with a focus on soil conservation and sustainable farming practices.
  • Description: Regenagri is an initiative aimed at promoting regenerative agricultural practices, ensuring soil health, and enabling sustainable farming.
  • Main areas of application: Emphasizes on sustainable land use, soil fertility, biodiversity, and carbon capture.
  • How to apply: Producers must undergo an audit by Control Union to demonstrate compliance with regenagri’s continuous improvement regime.

3. Rainforest Alliance Regenerative Coffee Scorecard


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The Rainforest Alliance’s Regenerative Coffee Scorecard is a unique tool that serves as a compass for coffee producers aiming to adopt regenerative agricultural practices. It enables them to assess their farming methods against critical metrics of regeneration, identify strengths and weaknesses, and chart a path towards more sustainable agriculture practices

This scorecard is instrumental in promoting eco-friendly methods that enhance the resilience of coffee landscapes and safeguard the livelihoods of coffee-growing communities.

  • Scope: Targeting both Rainforest Alliance-certified and non-certified supply chains in the coffee sector.
  • Description: Provides a comprehensive framework for evaluating and guiding coffee producers towards regenerative agricultural practices.
  • Main areas of application: Focuses on biodiversity conservation, improved labor practices, and sustainable management of natural resources.
  • How to apply: The scorecard is used in conjunction with the Rainforest Alliance certification process as a guide to regenerative farming transitions.

4. Fairtrade


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Fairtrade certification ensures that coffee producers receive a fair price for their beans, contributing to sustainable development and improved community welfare. It encompasses a range of social, economic, and environmental standards that promote safe working conditions, prohibit discrimination and child labor, and facilitate better trade relationships. 

By choosing Fairtrade coffee, consumers support a system that empowers farmers and workers to combat poverty and take control of their futures.

  • Scope: Global, ensuring fair trade practices in the coffee industry.
  • Description: Aims to provide coffee farmers with fair compensation and improved trade conditions.
  • Main areas of application: Focuses on economic empowerment of coffee farmers, fair labor conditions, and equitable trade.
  • How to apply: Compliance with Fairtrade International standards and passing a certification audit​​.

5. USDA Organic


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USDA Organic certification guarantees that coffee is grown following strict guidelines that forbid the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. This certification ensures that the coffee is produced in ways that preserve the environment and promote ecological balance. 

Coffee with USDA Organic certification must adhere to a set of production standards that support the health of the soil and the ecosystems where coffee is cultivated.

  • Scope: United States, with international recognition for organic products.
  • Description: Certifies products grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, ensuring environmental sustainability.
  • Main areas of application: Pertains to coffee grown using organic methods that promote ecological balance.
  • How to apply: Adherence to USDA organic regulations, including a three-year chemical-free soil requirement​​.

6. Bird Friendly


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The Bird Friendly certification by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is the gold standard for coffee shade management and bird habitat conservation. This certification ensures that coffee is grown under a canopy of trees, providing a habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, leading to healthier ecosystems. Bird Friendly certified coffees promote biodiversity and ecological preservation, aligning the interests of wildlife conservation with sustainable coffee farming practices.

  • Scope: Global, especially relevant for regions with rich avian biodiversity.
  • Description: Endorsed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, this certification safeguards bird habitats.
  • Main areas of application: Shade-grown coffee farming that creates a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife.
  • How to apply: Meets the Smithsonian’s rigorous habitat standards to be awarded the Bird Friendly seal of approval.

Each of these certifications plays a vital role in the movement towards more sustainable and responsible coffee production. They provide frameworks for environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic fairness.

💡 Read more: Exploring Sustainable Agriculture Examples Around the Globe

Cultivating a legacy of sustainability with regenerative certifications

The journey toward a more sustainable and resilient coffee industry is paved with the dedication and innovation reflected in regenerative organic certifications. Each certification carries a profound commitment to the health of our planet and the well-being of its people.

At RegenX, we’re proud to support and participate in this transformative movement. RegenX is a financing platform for farmers in Southeast Asia who are transitioning to regenerative agriculture. We deliver financial returns to farmers and investors at every harvest season. 

🤲🌍 Contact us now to learn more about regenerative agriculture, and take a step today toward a better tomorrow.

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