Conservation International (CI), in partnership with Ceres and industry leaders such as Starbucks and Keurig Green Mountain, want to make coffee the first sustainably sourced agricultural product in the world. Currently nearly half of the world’s coffee is being produced according to a sustainability standard, yet only 12% was sold as sustainable coffee in the market.
“We need a common definition of sustainability for the coffee sector,” said Peter Seligmann, chairman and CEO of Conservation International. “This will require commitments by roasters to support increased demand for sustainability. It will also require improved measurement of how far the sector has come in the sustainability journey and just how far we have to go.”
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge will convene industry and conservation partners to develop a common framework for sustainability in the coffee sector.
“The longevity of the coffee industry is directly linked to the social, economic and environmental conditions of coffee communities around the world, and at Starbucks we are committed to sourcing all of our coffee in the most ethical way possible that is good for the planet,” said Craig Russell, EVP of Starbucks Global Coffee. “We are proud to be a part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a call to action for the industry focused on creating meaningful and lasting solutions to ensure farmer and family livelihoods for generations to come.”
As demand increases – with consumers drinking 600 billion cups of coffee every year – warming temperatures, drought and changing weather patterns are impacting coffee production. The Sustainable Coffee Challenge will also provide environmental benefits, including the conservation of vital forests that help fight climate change by storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protection of freshwater resources.