The issue regarding certification of organic farmers in the Third World continues to gain steam. Equal Exchange, the organic and fair trade coffee group, has a petition drive (scroll to bottom of page) to block the USDA decision that would decertify organic ‘grower groups’ such as coffee co-ops.

Grist had a spirited discussion on this previously.

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A comment from Equal Exchange over at Chews Wisely states:

We at Equal Exchange are working with others in the National Organic Coalition to collect signatures for 2 seperate petitions to be submitted to the USDA asking they delay this ruling and focus on making the current group certification system work better (rather than just tossing it out). 1 petition is for organizations and businesses to sign. 1 is for individuals.

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Equal Exchange notes, “we have voluntarily raised the guaranteed price we’ll pay for organic Fair Trade coffee from $1.41 to $1.56. (For conventional Fair Trade coffee we now pay $1.36). By comparison the world market price for coffee today is only $1.10.”