Building Demand for Certified Coffees

By Amanda Cooper

Increasing demand for high-quality products that are sustainably produced is core to our business strategy. In fiscal 2011, we expanded our efforts to offer and promote products such as Fair Trade Certified™, Rainforest Alliance Certified™, and organic coffees, helping to widen adoption of socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

In fiscal 2011 we:
– increased the volume of sustainably certified coffees we sold from 25% to 28% – a significant gain considering that overall coffee sales increased by 52%
-continued to educate consumers, suppliers, and employees about the value and benefits of sustainable products, through the support of community outreach programs run by organizations such as Fair Trade USA

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We also continued our commitment to our Farm Identified (Farm ID) program – a cornerstone of our sourcing strategy. Our Farm ID program is an alternative to conventional sourcing through the anonymous commodity market. It represents our overall commitment to working together with our supply-chain partners, and not simply buying from them. In fiscal 2011, 34% of the coffee we purchased was Farm Identified. A portion of this is also certified coffee; other Farm Identified suppliers are at the beginning of their journey to sustainable coffee production.

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