This is the crop year the coffee was harvested and processed in, and provided that the coffee has been properly stored and is the MOST current available crop, shouldn't be a primary consideration in buying a green coffee from us. It is sometimes expressed as a single year or a split year ('01/'02 for example). The industry standard is that the crop year as inked on the burlap bag means the year it was grown-picked-milled-shipped and then arrived at market. But this is a very long process which means that a very fresh green coffee selling in December of 2008 will be '07/'08 since '08/'09 crop would not arrive until March-April '03. So the dates are a bit confusing but Sweet Maria's is really obsessed with green coffee freshness, and I think that many in the trade are not always paying attention to this issue. Crop is marked on all coffee bags, and is Cosecha in Spanish. Now that we use vacuum packing, we have extended the life of coffee and mazimized it's freshness.