Organic Coffees are Perfect for Holiday Gifts and Entertaining - New Data Shows Organic Coffee Sales Grew 40% in 2005

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Consumers today are equating organic coffee with quality, driving up sales up of the product 40 percent last year to $89 million. The 12 participants in the Organic Coffee Collaboration - a project of the Organic Trade Association, hope holiday coffee purchases for gifts and entertaining will be organic and have provided recipes for both hot and cold organic coffee beverages.

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By choosing organic coffee, consumers are offering delicious, high-quality products while supporting organic agriculture at home and around the world.

New and seasonal organic coffee blends and treats such as organic espresso chocolate bars are perfect for holiday gifts and seasonal entertainment events, according to participants in the Organic Coffee Collaboration, a project of the Organic Trade Association (OTA). And they are easier than ever to purchase - organic coffee products, including decaffeinated, caffeinated, flavored and instant coffees and new chocolate espresso bars are widely available at retail outlets nationwide and direct from roasters via the Internet.

To make holiday entertaining the most delicious, Collaboration participants are providing recipes for festivities that highlight the quality and flavor of the organic products which are made from some of the rarest and tastiest coffees from around the world. The recipes can be found at: http://www.ota.com/organic_and_you/coffee_collaboration.html

“Consumers have the choice of what kinds of gifts they give and the kinds of beverages they provide their holiday guests,” said Caren Wilcox, executive director of the Organic Trade Association. “By choosing organic coffee, consumers are offering delicious, high-quality products while supporting organic agriculture at home and around the world.”

Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic farmers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Organic coffee is grown in more than 30 countries, including the United States.

Data from the May 2006 Organic Trade Association's 2006 Manufacturer Survey indicate that United States organic coffee sales totaled $89 million in 2005, up 40 percent from the previous year.

Wilcox notes that in 2005, organic coffees won Cup of Excellence competitions in Bolivia, Brazil and Nicaragua. The prestigious award program, managed by the U.S.-based Alliance for Coffee Excellence, results in the selection of the best coffees produced in a particular country in a particular year.

The Organic Coffee Collaboration is a project of the Organic Trade Association, the business association for the North American organic industry. The Collaboration includes:

Arbuckle Coffee Roasters (Tucson, AZ) - roaster and supplier to spas, high-end restaurants and gourmet coffee shops.

Café Bom Dia (Coral Gables, FL) - tree-to-shelf organic coffee provider to club stores, among others.

Elan Organic Coffees (San Diego, CA) - coffee developer and importer offering certified organic socially responsible coffees it has developed through partnerships with village co-ops.

Equal Exchange (West Bridgewater, MA) - a worker-owned, Fair Trade cooperative, and one of largest U.S. organic coffee roasters.

F. Gaviña & Sons (Vernon, CA) - growers, traders and roasters of organic coffees for the Gaviña Gourmet Coffee and Don Francisco’s Gourmet Coffee brands.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Waterbury, VT) - one of the leading U.S. organic coffee roasters and number one on Business Ethics magazine’s 2006 list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens.”

Jim’s Organic Coffee (West Wareham, MA) - the nation’s first all-organic coffee roaster and the leading all-organic roaster nationwide.

OTA’s Coffee Council (Greenfield, MA) - over 30 growers, importers, roasters and retailers dedicated to promoting the high standards of certified organic coffee.

Quality Assurance International (San Diego, CA) - a global leader in providing organic certification services, including certification for three other Collaboration participants, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Jim’s Organic Coffee and Rocamojo.

Rocamojo, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) - manufacturer of the sole organic coffee/soy blend sold by retailers nationwide and winner of Gourmet Retailer’s “Best Products of Show” award at the 2004 Fancy Food Show.

Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (Vancouver, BC) - North America’s leading certified organic coffee decaffeinator, which decaffeinates coffee for five other Organic Coffee Collaboration participants, Café Bom Dia, Elan Organic Coffees, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Jim’s Organic Coffee and Arbuckle Coffee Roasters.

Wild Oats Markets (Boulder, CO) - the leading retailer of organic Fair Trade coffee in North America. The majority of the coffee Wild Oats sells is organic and Fair Trade Certified™, with a selection of 30 varieties.

For the holiday recipes as well as more information on the Organic Coffee Collaboration, please see: http://www.ota.com/organic_and_you/coffee_collaboration.html.

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