The Starbucks perspective: For all of our coffee to be grown under the highest standards of quality, using ethical trading and responsible growing practices. We think it's a better cup of coffee that also helps create a better future for farmers and a more stable climate for the planet.
Kraft Perspective: In 2003, Kraft announced it would buy significant quantities of coffee beans from certified sustainable sources in coffee-growing communities around the world. This announcement of certification - or auditing - was the beginning of the company's work with the Rainforest Alliance, a not-for-profit organisation and an international leader in sustainable agriculture. The Rainforest Alliance sets standards for sustainability, ensures farms meet comprehensive criteria and then certifies them.
With the help of Conservation International over the past decade, they have two main focus areas for ethically sourced coffe. The Coffee and the The Farmer. And like all similarly named Aesop Fables, this too has a lesson to teach.
Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices are guidelines that help farmers grow coffee in a way that's better for both people and the planet.
Product Quality (requirement): ?All coffee must meet required standards of high quality.
Economic Accountability (requirement): ?Transparency is required. Suppliers must submit evidence of payments made throughout the coffee supply chain to demonstrate how much of the price for green (unroasted) coffee reaches the farmer.
Social Responsibility (evaluated by third-party verifiers): ?Measures in place that concern safe, fair and humane working conditions. These include protecting the rights of workers and providing adequate living conditions. Compliance with the indicators for minimum-wage requirements and addressing child labor/forced labor and discrimination is mandatory.
Environmental Leadership (evaluated by third-party verifiers): ?Measures in place to manage waste, protect water quality, conserve water and energy, preserve biodiversity and reduce agrochemical use.
Certified Organic - coffee that's better for the planet Organic coffee is grown using methods and materials that have a lower impact on the environment. Organic farming practices help replenish and maintain soil health, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. ??
Working directly with farmers develops responsible growing methods and investing in their communities to ensure a sustainable supply of quality coffee. Responsibly grown, ethically traded coffee means working with farmers to produce coffee in ways that help provide benefits to their business, their communities and the environment.
How can you help? Ask questions. But Fair Trade Certified coffee. If diamonds can have a moral dilemma, you coffee can certainly offer ethical support.