The organic label is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture which requires proof that the product is produced without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides. The producer must also show a plan that addresses issues of bio-diversity, watershed management and the creation of buffer zones to prevent any cross contamination in growing or processing of the coffee.
Fair Trade certification is an effort to improve the lives of workers and their families. Fair Trade certified coffees are grown and processed by cooperatives run by small, family farmers who earn a guaranteed price for their beans. They, in turn, must meet the criteria of fair labor conditions for all people working on the farm – freedom of association for farmers and workers and democratic decision making processes. If the plantation is considered an Organic farm, it must follow the environmental standards that restrict the use of agri-chemicals and foster sustainability.