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. 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. So the dates are a bit confusing.