As you enjoy your cup of Joe, imagine 2.5 billion cups of coffee being consumed around the globe in the next 24 hours. No wonder coffee is one of the world’s largest commodities.

Coffee production methods are hugely important for the well-being of farmers and the environment in developing areas like Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia, where much of the world’s coffee is grown. In many places, the environment has suffered, and fluctuating market prices have taken a toll on farmers who can’t support their families.

The good part? Your coffee choice does make a difference.

Terms To Know


Crops and animals raised organically have not been exposed to synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, genetic modification, growth hormones, or antibiotics. All products labeled “Certified Organic” have been certified by the USDA. However, some farmers classify themselves as “uncertified organic,” meaning they follow organic practices but have not gone through the official process to be certified by the USDA.

Fair Trade Coffee
A Fair Trade Certified label ensures the farmers who grew the coffee beans were paid at least a guaranteed minimum “fair trade price.” Participating farmers typically belong to co-ops that sell the coffee themselves and provide credit against future sales to keep farmers out of debt. Technical assistance is provided for sustainable and organic farming practices, and in many cases, farmers form long-term relationships that bring commercial stability to their families and communities. These co-ops often provide other social benefits to their members as well, such as access to health care and opportunities for advanced education.

Today, more than 100 U.S.-based companies offer Fair Trade-certified coffee, which is often also Certified Organic and shade-grown.

“Roast Date”

You may notice a “Roast Date” on some of our coffee packages – this simply tells you the date that the coffee was roasted on. This date is not to be confused with a “sell by” date!

Our Coffee Values

We know that making good decisions about what to buy can be complicated. We put a lot of time and thought into every purchasing decision we make, so that you can trust all of choices you have at the DCM. We want you to know that every product on the shelves at the Durham Co-op Market has been hand-selected by our team with our values in mind:

Supporting the Local Economy

Environmental Stewardship


Dignity of Workers

If you ever have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about any product you find at our store, we want to hear it! You can always call us at (919) 973-1707 or email us at

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