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POLICY AND CERTIFICATIONS

Time to wake up: why a holistic approach is needed to tackle sustainability challenges in the coffee sector

This knowledge paper describes the environmental and human rights challenges present in the coffee sector. It does that by providing contextual facts and figures of the industry and also presenting an overview of the projected challenges that might occur in the coming years. Secondly, it focuses on offering concrete and adaptable recommendations to the different actors involved on how to make this sector more sustainable. Suggestions are directed mainly to roasters, buyers and producers and express the need to understand the context of the supply chain in which the single actors are engaging, initiating a thorough analysis of the system. Then, it presents additional recommendations on how to be transparent, how to properly engage at origin, build strong relationships, engage in collaborative actions, count on certifications and be innovative. The report concludes with an interview to Paula Mejia from the Sustainable Business Unit at Neumann Kaffee Group. This paper can be particularly interesting for coffee companies working both at the first and last mile of the chain interested in initiating few concrete strategies for a more sustainable system.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Climate change, human rights, sustainability, tool

1/27/2020

Löning: Human Rights & Responsible Business

What if all coffee was sustainable

This document presented by the Sustainable Coffee Challenge in partnership with the Global Coffee Platform and Conservation International draws on the connection between a possible sustainable coffee sector and the nexus between four main pillars: a sustained supply, the conservation of nature, a strengthened market demand and the improvement of livelihoods. In addition, it assesses how the improvement of farmers’ profitability is at the backbone of creating sustainability throughout in connection with the twelve SDGs corresponding to the system. Finally, it presents an analysis reporting how the different pillars are interconnected, addressing the importance of triggering a chain of efforts to create system change towards a more sustainable industry. This framework might be particularly interesting for stakeholders directly engaged with sustainability analysis and looking for an overview of the system.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Sustainability, system change, farmers, SGDs, Sustainable development goals

1/1/2020

Sustainable Coffee Challenge

The real price of coffee & steps towards a sustainable future

This informative leaflet presents a comparison of the price perceived by coffee farmers and the average price paid for a cup of coffee in a consuming country. It gives some context on the reasons behind such low prices have been paid to farmers around the world and it informs consumers on how make the right choice when purchasing coffee. Indeed, the leaflet presents some options for consumers to buy differently, reporting a few names of sustainable coffee companies, but also options connected with buying certified coffee or specialty coffee. It includes a small infographic regarding the countries whose producers are payed the least and a quick explanation on premium prices. This is a very recommended leaflet for all consumers looking for concrete and practical suggestions on how to buy their coffee if they want to participate to a more sustainable value chain.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Price crises, fair price, living income, farmers, wage

1/1/2020

Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment

Reuse: rethinking packaging

This research has been written for The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and it focuses on how the topic of waste management can be used as an opportunity rather than a threat. In fact, according to the article, this is an industry of 10+billion USD, where innovation comes as an opportunity to develop benefits for the industry. The main catalysts for such a shift reside in the technology engagement especially on the digital aspect of it, and in the shift of the final consumer’s preferences that will eventually become more oriented towards recycling and recycled products/policies. The outcomes that derive from such evolution are diverse and include: enhanced user experience, products that are crafted to meet the individual user’s needs and gather insights from them, a systematic enhancement of the brand loyalty form the final consumer, better and optimized operations that lead to an ultimate cost saving structure. The study maps 69 reuse examples generated by the study of 100 cases, with the contribution of more than 50 experts. This article can be interesting for anyone in the industry who wants to have an easy to ready and detailed guide on reuse and recycle critical topics.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Circular economy, recycling, waste management, packaging

6/13/2019

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Women and coffee farming: collective consciousness towards social cntrepreneurship in Ulubelu, Lampung

This research article assesses the role of women in coffee production in Ulubelu, a coffee producing area in Lampung, Indonesia. The aim of this study is to understand the different condition between women and men in this coffee producing area. Moreover, the article assesses the collective action undertaken by different female farmers in the area as a possible opportunity for social entrepreneurship and improvement of gender equity. The authors’ methodology entailed direct observations of female farmers during both house and farm management and deep one-to-one interviews, where women were open to sharing their experience regarding their position in domestic and farming areas. Results confirmed a level of inequality between men and women. The latter don’t have the opportunity to take part in the decision-making of the farm, they don’t have land ownership, they have poor representation in farming institutions and culture plays a relevant role in affecting the division of labour. However, the authors were also able to find a particular engagement of women connected with social entrepreneurship opportunities in the sector, creating and participating to female organizations, creating other professional opportunities and increasing the economic value of coffee through upgrading strategies in the area. This article is particularly interesting for coffee professionals active in Indonesia, gender experts and coffee association active in the Lampung province.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Gender, gender equity, female farming, Indonesia, Lampung, farm management,

Imron, D. K., Satrya, A. R. A.

Ecosystem services by birds and bees to coffee in a changing climate: a review of coffee berry borer control and pollination.

The authors of this paper examine two key services provided by nature, pest control by birds and pollination by bees. They first examine the services themselves and they use data to try and give a dollar value to the services provided. Then, they examine how coffee will likely change as the climate changes, as well as how climate change might impact bird species and the Coffee Berry Borer. They also examine how climate change might harm pollinator species like native and non-native bees. The ultimate conclusions include paying farmers and educating them to preserve their forested lands, use fewer pesticides, preserve soils, and use shade trees. Readers interested in agricultural ecosystems and climate change will find this article interesting.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Environment

4/11/2019

Chain-Guadarrama, A., Martínez-Salinas, A., Aristizábal, N., Ricketts, T. H.

Global market report: coffee

This report presents fact and figures of coffee production and consumption levels, trade flows and adoption levels of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs), analysing data collected in 2016. The report presents the challenges connected with climate change, increased cost of production and other social and environmental issues and propose to expand the adoption of VSSs as a possible solution to help addressing these challenges. Additionally, the report presents information on how companies are performing regarding the adoption of these standards and the relative trends of both conventional and sustainable markets. Finally, it presents a list of Low Human Development Countries which have a high potential to engage in the production of VSS-compliant coffee and benefit from their adoptions. This report might be of interest to policy makers, coffee companies and certification bodies in the comprehension of the applicability of these solutions on a broader level.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Coffee trends, Voluntary Sustainability Standards, VSSs, company sustainability

1/1/2019

International Institute for Sustainable Development

Bean to bin and beyond: white paper on circular economy progress, barriers and opportunities in the UK Coffee Business

The British Coffee Association has published this article in order to raise awareness throughout the whole supply chain of coffee on what the United Kingdom is doing in terms of circular economy. The main projects and initiatives are explained and analyzed, and the main goals are depicted, with an analysis of the key challenges that the industry must face in order to enhance the circular principles. The concept of coffee circularity index is also presented as an innovative high- level evaluation tool. The authors of the article also focus on origin and how sustainability and circularity is encouraged by promoting coffee farming practices that include tree renovation (carbon off-setting), and repurposing of coffee pulp byproduct. The authors also stress in the need for innovation in the sector where cooperation is key and for a general synergy that goes beyond the efforts of a single company. As a drive for the industry the authors identify seven goals for a Sustainable Circular Coffee Economy that should function as a guidance scheme that the various actors of the supply chain should use to overcome the challenges and achieve a better environment. This article should be of interest for roasters, producers, and intermediaries.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Circular economy, sustainability, supply chain, waste, recycling

12/3/2018

The British Coffee Association

A literature review and a case study of sustainable supply chains with a focus on metrics

Literature on sustainable supply chains from the period of 2000 to 2010. Frameworks and performance measurements for supply chains are given, as well as a case study to illustrate the authors' theories.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Supply chain, sustainability, measurement

11/12/2018

Hassini, E., Surti, C., Searcy, C.

We want to be equal to them: fair-trade coffee certification and gender equity within organizations

This paper analyzes the understudied gendered dimensions of fair-trade coffee networks and certification practices. It combines data collected during 14 months of fieldwork among the members of a Guatemalan coffee cooperative with a survey of the existing literature on fair-trade coffee cooperatives to demonstrate that the current fair-trade network is falling far short of its goal to promote gender equity, particularly in three important realms: voting and democratic participation, the promotion of non-agricultural income generating programs, and support for female coffee producers.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

fair trade, gender equality, female coffee producers

11/1/2018

Lyon, S.

Sustainable coffee as a family business

This "toolkit" recommends practices that support coffee farming as a family endeavor that also includes women and children. Addressing both the future of youth in coffee families as well as the already existing distrubution of resources, this project both discusses and offers suggestions pertaining to the involvement of the entire family in the coffee supply chain.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

gender equality, farmers, case study

10/14/2018

Senders, A., Motz, M., Lentink, A.

Blockchain-based technology in the coffee supply chain trade: case of Burundi coffee

This research article focuses on the integration of blockchain technology in the Burundi coffee supply chain as a possible solution for a more sustainable system. In order to explain the rationale behind the use of blockchain, the authors present the different challenges connected with the coffee production and its trading system. They report the complexity of coffee production connected with the consequences of climate change, a fragmented system where many intermediaries are involved and frequent market instability causing consistent price crises and economic loss. Coffee has an important economic and social role in the country but the current challenges are directly affecting the sustainability of the industry. The authors report the benefits of blockchain in providing enhanced traceability and transparency of the supply chain and therefore, further investigate the different perspectives of coffee professionals and companies in the integration of blockchain technologies. To assess their perspectives, they survey 49 actors among roasters, importers, traders, exporters and producers. Results show a very compelling interest of using this technology for a more transparent and traceable system. This article is particularly interesting for coffee professionals looking at digitising their supply chains or wanting to know more about what blockchain has to offer for the coffee industry.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Blockchain, technology, climate change, traceability, transparency, Burundi

9/3/2018

Thiruchelvam, V., Mughisha, A., Shahpasand, M., Bamiah, M

Sustainably improving Kenya’s coffee production needs more participation of younger farmers with diversified income

Kenya has a reputation for incredible coffee, and many farmers in Kenya rely on coffee for their income. Yet Kenyan coffee production is declining due to its economic instability. A team of social scientists in Kenya came together to conduct an extensive study of six cooperatives in communities surrounding the Mt. Elgon volcano. Interviews, meetings, and focus groups helped them zero in on some recommendations for the coffee industry in Kenya. Their findings apply to governments. NGOs, and cooperatives themselves. And finally, they conclude that interventions and programs must be targeted toward young farmers to encourage them to sustainably intensify coffee production as the older generation ages. Readers interested in East Africa, youth issues in coffee, and economic sustainability in coffee will be particularly interested in this paper.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Policy and Certifications

7/9/2018

Wairegi, L. W., Bennett, M., Nziguheba, G., Mawanda, A., Rios, C. D., Ampaire, E., Asten, P. J.

Intercropping of coffee with the palm tree, macauba, can mitigate climate change effects

Global climate changes can affect coffee production in Brazil, and in other coffee producing countries. We examined the potential for an agroforestry system with the native species, macauba ( Acrocomia aculeata ), to mitigate impacts on coffee production by reducing maximal air temperature and photosynthetic active radiation. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of an agroforestry system with macauba on productivity, microclimatic characteristics and soil physical quality on a coffee plantation in the Atlantic Rainforest biome, in Southern Brazil. We measured soil attributes (moisture, temperature, and physical properties), microclimate conditions (air temperature, photosynthetic active radiation) and coffee production parameters (productivity and yield). Macauba palm trees were planted at different planting densities on the rows and distances from the coffee rows. Planting density of macauba and their distance from the coffee rows affected soil thermal-water regime. Compared with the traditional unshaded sole coffee planting, the intercropped cultivation provided more coffee yield on both macauba density planting and distance evaluated. On the other hand, coffee productivity was increased by agroforestry systems just for 4.2?m distance between palm trees and coffee rows. Planting density of macaubas did not affect coffee yield and productivity. Best coffee harvest in agroforestry systems with macauba was related to higher soil moisture at the depth of 20-40 cm, higher photosynthetic active radiation, and maximum air temperatures lower than 30C. Agroforestry with coffee and macauba trees can be an adaptation strategy under future climatic variability and change related to high temperatures and low rainfall.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

Agroforestry, climate change, mitigation, soil, water

6/1/2018

Moreira, S. L. S., Pires, C. V., Marcatti, G. E.

Reports find potentially dangerous levels of diacetyl and other chemicals at coffee roasters

This article recounts findings from the CDC in which coffee roasting facilities are shown to have high levels of diacetyl, which is associated with lung disease.

Authors

Publication Date

Keywords

coffee roasting, health, regulations, coffee facilities

5/21/2018

Coffee and Cocoa International