High standards for a more sustainable coffee supply chain
Our sustainability strategy pursues the aim of gradually establishing minimum environmental and social requirements across our supply chains. In 2014, we took a further step on the way towards including 100% of our coffee range in our sustainability concept. In 2014, about 35% of our processed green coffee came from farms that meet the requirements of our sustainability concept. They are either certified and bear the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, UTZ Certified or European Bio (organic) seal – or are validated according to the baseline standards of the 4C Association. In this way we are expanding the reach of our commitment in combination with our own Tchibo Joint Forces!® qualification programme, and thereby contributing to developing a more sustainable coffee supply chain.
According to a survey included in the Coffee Report 2014 published by Tchibo in cooperation with the business magazine Brand Eins, one third of consumers in Germany already prefer environmentally and socially responsibly produced coffees and speciality coffees. The findings confirm us in our goal of integrating all Tchibo coffees into our sustainability concept in the medium term.
Growing share of validated and certified grades
Since 2008, we have been gradually increasing the share of green coffee grades that are validated or certified by internationally recognised standards organisations. When selecting them, we make sure that their standards were developed in dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, in ‘multi-stakeholder dialogues’. The organisations help coffee farmers on the ground to apply environmental and social criteria for growing coffee, and check their compliance. This ensures that producers meet the minimum requirements of our sustainability concept. We currently purchase our certified coffee from providers who work with the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and UTZ Certified, and the organisations behind the EU Bio label. Validated coffee meets the baseline standards of the 4C Association. We have achieved our goal for 2014 of sourcing 35% of our coffee from validated or certified coffee farms. In 2015 we intend to increase this proportion to 40%.
Greater reach through a variety of requirements
The internationally recognised standards organisations pursue one basic set of objectives: to help coffee farmers increase their income, improve their living and working conditions, and protect the environment. Each organisation sets its own priorities in the details of the individual goals:
The Rainforest Alliance is an internationally recognised, independent environmental organisation that campaigns for the protection of sensitive ecosystems and promotes the sustainable management of land. The seal stands for ecologically sound agriculture and socially responsible corporate behaviour. This includes, for example, the protection of resources and the creation of educational opportunities for coffee farmers. For more information about the Rainforest Alliance, please visit: www.rainforest-alliance.org
Fairtrade standards ensure the payment of minimum prices and empower coffee farmers to sustainably improve their living and working conditions. The Fairtrade premium is used to sponsor community facilities such as hospitals or educational institutions. Fairtrade supports smallholder structures in particular, thereby strengthening families and village communities. Fairtrade gives smallholders and workers a voice, gets them noticed and empowers them to make self-determined decisions. For more information on Fairtrade please visit: www.fairtrade-deutschland.de
UTZ is not an acronym, but comes from the language of the Maya, an ancient people from South America, and means “good”.Nomen est omen: UTZ Certified trains coffee farmers in the fields of business, social working conditions and environmental management, helping them, for example by learning better farming methods, to work more successfully while also protecting the environment. By purchasing UTZ certified products, Tchibo customers can actively promote better prospects for farmers. For more information on UTZ, please visit: www.utzcertified.org
‘Bio’ (organic) label
Organic coffee is synonymous with sustainable agriculture in harmony with nature. Organic farming is characterised by such things as the use of natural fertilisers and beneficial insects that keep the soil fertile long-term. This method of farming also helps to conserve biodiversity and conserve resources. The Bio label ensures the controlled production of organic products. The provisions of EU legislation on organic farming set the standards for the label. Only products that are produced and controlled according to this EU legislation may carry the Bio label. For more information, please visit: www.bio-siegel.de
Baseline standards of the 4C Association
Tchibo is a founding member of the 4C Association. This international organisation unites producers, traders, coffee roasters and civic society groups worldwide in working together towards a shared goal: to improve sustainability throughout the coffee sector. As a 4C member, we continuously campaign to further improve sustainability in coffee production, processing, and trading.
The different priorities of the standards organisations significantly increase the scope of our efforts for a more sustainable supply chain. It enables us to respond more flexibly to fluctuations in supply, ensure the availability of sustainable raw coffee and consistent product quality, and involve a much larger number of coffee farmers in our sustainability concept beyond our own Tchibo Joint Forces!® qualification programme.