Use of the “O” word…

Up until May 31, 2012, we had been certified by a third party certifier, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, to sell “Organic” coffees using the USDA Organic green label that you’ve become used to.  As of that day, we have pulled out of the USDA Organic program and are no longer able to label the coffees that have been Certified Organically Grown as “Organic” as they leave our coffee roasting facility.

We will still be bringing in Certified Organically Grown coffees for some of our offerings, but because we will no longer be inspected by a third-party certifier, let us clearly explain what this means.  PLEASE NOTE that we will NOT be changing any roasting practices, and will still be abiding by the standards for which we were certified Organic previously.

The Regulations…

In order for a product to be considered “USDA Organic”, there must be a complete paper trail verifying all stages of the Organic food substance from origin to final completed product, such as our roasted coffee product.  Because we roast both, organic and non-organic, beans in our roaster, we always abide by proper rules for keeping the items separated and cleaning the roaster in a way that purges it from non-organic material before roasting organic material.

Very rigid paper trails are necessary to determine that no finished product would ever be cross-contaminated and then labeled as Organic when it is indeed not organic.  We have been in complete compliance with all necessary items for a number of years, and have never had any findings filed against us that made our Organic qualification questionable.

So, why the change at LRC…

Recently, we have seen our food system becoming aggressively targeted at levels far removed from us that are allowing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) to also be labeled as “Organic”.  Up until this, we had no real issue with the “Organic” movement (except we really wish people knew more about the food they buy besides just looking for the label), and we still believe strongly in the need to buy food without harmful changes and/or additives.  HOWEVER, our personal ethics and beliefs are telling us to remove ourselves from this program at this time as we believe the implementation of GMO foods in our food supply is scary enough, and then the additional step of GMO being able to be called Organic…that was what did it.

Our commitment to our customers…

Our commitment to run an upfront, honest, tell-it-like-it-is coffee roasting business remains the same.  We operate with as much transparency as we possibly can, and use our Facebook page as much as possible to flush out the details of issues such as this.  From this point forward, anything that falls into the category “Organically Grown” has been delivered to us through the chain of delivery with certification paperwork attached.  However, you will no longer see the USDA symbol on our packaging, nor will it bear the claim of “Organic”…we are no longer certified to say that. Again, we have been roasting both, organic and non-organic coffee all along, and we will continue to use the separation of products and proper cleaning techniques to ensure no cross-contamination.

We commit to honesty and integrity in all of our products, and we hope you’ll continue to support us and dig deeper to know the issues behind the food you are eating.  PLEASE, look beyond just the labels!