Certifications & Sustainability
Certified 100% Organic
Certified organic coffee has been certified by an independent organization, one that supports products that don't use synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and by farmers practicing sustainable agriculture and using natural, soil-building techniques. Keeping harmful chemicals out of coffee fields prevents chemical run-off into the water supply, which protects the watershed, maintains bird habitat, and protects the human population.
Direct Trade is a form of coffee-sourcing practiced by some roasters, referring to direct sourcing from farmers. Direct trade is seen as an alternative to "Fair Trade" Certification, and represents the interests of roasters who disagreed with elements of Fair Trade, including:
- The lack of increase in Fair Trade premiums paid to farmers
- The lack of what the direct trade advocates perceived as a sufficient quality-incentive for farmers
- The limits on Fair Trade participation (i.e., individual farms cannot be certified unless part of a cooperative, and plantations and estates are not allowed to join cooperatives);
- The fees involved in being a participating Fair Trade company (e.g. fees, dues, and surcharges).
Sustainability is a hot topic in the coffee industry: nearly all the world’s coffee crop is grown in developing Third World nations, while the final product – brewed coffee and espresso -- is hugely popular in the developed world. The last few decades have seen a sharp increase in the niche “Specialty Coffee” segment of the coffee industry, as well as a rise in consumer awareness of sustainability issues. Coffee roasting companies like Hunter Bay are challenged to not only “Think Globally, Act Locally” but also to “Think Locally, Act Globally.” At Hunter Bay we address issues of sustainability by looking at how we roast coffee here in Montana. We use highly efficient S.T.A. Impianti 15 and 60 Kg roasters which allow us to roast specific amounts of coffee in order to fulfill but not exceed our need at a given time. We also consider how the green coffee has been farmed, processed and traded and shipped before it reaches our roasting plant. These days there are a multitude of certifying organizations that attempt to level the playing field between the developing and developed worlds and the globally-conscious coffee roaster carefully chooses which of these organizations to support based on a variety of economic and social factors. At home the local roaster considers how to practice the business of roasting coffee in ways that support and enhance the community.
Hunter Bay's Global awareness practices:
- Seeks out and builds long-term relationships with coffee estates and importers that practice fair and sustainable agricultural and business practices.
- Sources Direct Trade Coffee
- Stays current on issues affecting the global coffee market
- Supports organizations that work in coffee-producing nations to improve the quality of life on coffee farms
- Offers a selection of organic coffees to relieve environmental and health concerns
Hunter Bay's Local awareness practices:
- Pays a living wage and offers family-friendly flexible scheduling to employees
- Works with local companies for business services and supplies
- Sells coffee in bulk bins to reduce packaging waste
- Re-purposes coffee production materials such as coffee bags and coffee byproducts/waste as organic fertilizer
- Supports local non-profits like The Poverello Center and The Missoula Food Bank with coffee donations.