Many Mesoamerican farmers here are starting to give up on organic coffee. The premium price that it used to fetch is disappearing.
From Mexico to Costa Rica, at least 10 percent of growers have returned to chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the past three years, at a significant cost to the environment.
Although organic still pays a premium of as much as 25 percent over conventional coffee, it’s not enough to cover the added cost of production and make up for the smaller yields.
Under specialty “green” labels at places like Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, organic beans and brews have become cheaper and more widely available recently.