Increased proportion of certified green coffee grades
In the medium term, we only want to offer coffees whose cultivation meets economic, ecological and social requirements. We took another step forward on this path in 2016, by increasing the proportion of green coffee grades which are certified by an international standards organisation by about 1% to 15.9%. Our certified coffees are sourced from coffee farms certified according to the requirements of Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, or the organisations behind the European organic seal.
All our premium assortments, such as the Cafissimo capsule range, were converted to 100% certified coffee grades back in 2012. Now we are gradually expanding the proportion in other segments. Since 2016 our For Black n’White filter coffee has carried the UTZ seal. The Blonde Roast coffee product, newly introduced in 2017, as well as our Gala Espresso and Caffee Crema, all carry the Rainforest Alliance seal.
Since 2011, we have significantly increased the proportion of Fairtrade coffee in our coffee range. Around 21% of the Fairtrade coffee sold in Germany in 2016 came from Tchibo, making us one of the largest suppliers of coffee with the Fairtrade seal in Germany. In the years ahead, we plan to continually increase the share of certified green coffee grades in our assortment.
New paths in the mainstream segment
In 2016, we took a new strategic path in sourcing green coffee grades that are validated according to the 4C baseline standards. In our view, the basic requirements of the validation system for the 4C standards will soon no longer be sufficient to continue the sustainable development of the supply chain. That is why we are increasingly shifting our commitment and financial resources from purchasing 4C-validated grades to our own Tchibo Joint Forces!® qualification programme and our ‘Mainstreaming Sustainable Coffee Production’ multi-stakeholder initiative which we initiated with the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung. In the course of this shift, we reduced the proportion of raw coffee grades validated according to the 4C baseline standards by 6% in 2016 and used the freed-up funds from the premiums for our ‘Mainstreaming Sustainable Coffee Production’ initiative. We plan to reduce 4C coffee by a total of 8% by 2020.
Green coffee, certified and validated as sustainable
As a result of these strategic changes, the share of green coffee (certified and validated as sustainable) covered by the Tchibo sustainability concept in the total green coffee volume was at 36.3% in 2016, slightly down year-on-year for the first time since 2008 (previous year: 41.2%). Meanwhile, the share of certified green coffee grades increased by approx. 1% to around 15,9%.
Internationally recognised standards for sustainable coffee farming
Internationally accredited standards organisations work to help coffee farmers increase their income, improve their living and working conditions, and increase environmental protection. Each organisation sets its own priorities in terms of individual objectives.
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 Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal stands for ecologically sound agriculture and socially responsible corporate behaviour. This includes, for example, the conservation of natural resources and the creation of educational opportunities for coffee farmers.
Fairtrade stands for better working and living conditions for smallholders and workers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 1.6 million smallholders and workers already benefit from fixed minimum prices as well as the Fairtrade premium for community projects. Such projects can include, for example, the construction of a school, a health centre, or investment in the local infrastructure. Fairtrade prohibits forced labour and illegal child labour. Fairtrade provides support, training and advice for producers in the growing regions. Environmentally friendly cultivation is promoted. The independent certification company FLOCERT carries out on-site verification of whether producers and traders comply with Fairtrade standards.
UTZ is not an acronym, but comes from the Mayan language, an indigenous people from South America, and means ‘good’. And it is used here with good reason: 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 operate more successfully and at the same time protect the environment. By purchasing UTZ certified products Tchibo customers can actively promote better prospects for farmers.
Bio ‘organic’ label
Organic coffee is produced from sustainable agriculture in harmony with nature. Organic farming is characterised such things as the use of natural fertilisers and beneficial insects that keep the soil fertile in the long term. This method of farming also helps to conserve biodiversity and protect raw material reserves. The Bio label ensures the controlled production of organic products. The provisions of EU legislation on organic farming determine the standard. 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
In March 2016, the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) – a cooperation between international coffee roasters and the Netherland’s Initiative for Sustainable Trade (IDH) as the public partner – joined forces with the 4C Association to form the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), to consolidate the strengths of the two organisations alliance and achieve a greater impact in developing a sustainable coffee sector.
The Baseline Common Code 4C is still the basic standard of the coffee sector. It reflects the principles and minimal reference practices for sustainable production and processing. Coffee Assurance Services (CAS), an independent company whose shareholder is the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), is now in charge of verification.