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Coffee is good, sustainable coffee is best!

Coffee is good, sustainable coffee is best!

coffee beans

Why Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown Coffee

Organic Fair Trade coffee is different from ‘plain old’ Fair Trade coffee. It’s better for the environment, better for everyone’s health and provides a better standard of living for the farmer.

Farmers who grow coffee organically use renewable resources. They conserve soil and water to sustain the environment for future generations. They protect human health by avoiding pollutants, pesticides and herbicides. And they create an ecosystem that’s healthy for wildlife and birds.

Why Kicking Horse Coffee

Kicking Horse is a Canadian company that buys and sells only 100% certified organic, shade-grown coffee that’s fit for our feathered friends. Why? Because they know it’s the right thing to do and because the birds are an important part of the ecosystem that cross-pollinates and feeds the coffee plants.

Their Story

Kicking Horse Coffee was opened in 1996 by a couple in British Columbia, roasting coffee beans in the rocky mountain air. By 1998 they knew the importance of fair-trade and joined Transfair Canada (the only independent, not-for-profit certification body for fair trade products sold in Canada). In 2003 Kicking Horse Coffee made the conscious decision to discontinue all conventional coffee and focus efforts on purchasing and roasting only 100% certified organic coffee.

By 2007, despite increasing pressure to source more green beans, Kicking Horse Coffee committed to discontinue the purchase of all non-fair trade coffee and develop their current 100% Certified Organic, Certified Fair Trade only, 21-blend product offering. In 2009 they were awarded Canada’s #1 Organic Fair Trade Organic Coffee for the 13th year in a row.

Kicking Horse Coffee Mission

“Our mission is to stimulate the planet with the ultimate wake-up call. We have some big ideas — ideas that go way beyond mere profit. These ideas govern everything we do, from buying only Fair Trade, organic beans to helping sustain our own community.”

Before coffee can be labelled organic, an approved agency must inspect the farm to certify that the farmer is following the guidelines necessary to meet organic standards.

Their organic certifying body, EcoCert Canada (the same one that certifies Healthtree’s Gourmet juices and meals) – annually inspects Kicking Horse Coffee’s operations to ensure ongoing organic product handling compliance. Kicking Horse Coffee currently meets or exceeds national Organic certification requirements in Canada, the United States and in Europe.

Shade grown, friendly for birds

All Kicking Horse Coffee comes from Arabica beans that are grown in the shade of the rainforest canopy. Growing coffee in the shade means growing coffee under a light canopy of varied vegetation at high altitudes. This creates a superior coffee cherry (bean) and a more resilient ecosystem.

A healthy ecosystem attracts birds, which assist in the cross-pollination of cherries and the distribution of beans and seeds, enhancing plant distribution and diversity. Organic growing creates a situation that’s win-win-win-win-win… for farmers, for communities, for wildlife, for consumers and for the planet.

At Healthtree we believe in supporting companies that care about our health, the environment and their communities… which is why we feel Kicking Horse Coffee is a healthier and incredibly delicious choice.

To learn more about Kicking Horse Coffee, visit them online at

For more information on organic, shade-grown coffee, read these great articles:

  • Everyday Environmentalist: Buy sustainable coffee by Jonathon D. Colman on The Nature Conservacy’s website at
  • Toute la lumière sur les cultures à l’ombre, Pure Green Magazine website.