Paper explores key environmental & human rights issues in coffee sector and outlines practical steps for more sustainable supply chains

Author: Lisa Szeponik & Laura Much, Löning - Human Rights & Responsible Business, Published on: 3 February 2020

"Time to wake up: Why a holistic approach is needed to tackle sustainability challenges in the coffee sector", January 2020

[T]wo major developments that present the coffee trade with an uncertain future can be identified in all regions: climate change and the ongoing precarious living conditions of the majority of coffee farmers...

Because of these complex challenges, coffee roasters, coffee buyers and coffee producers would have to develop a holistic approach if they want to address the root causes of today’s unsustainable coffee sector...

Transparency on price structures plays an important role in shaping the coffee market sustainably...

NGOs in particular have been calling for a stronger regulation of global coffee prices. This is based on the assumption that only an appropriate and stable price can secure the livelihood of coffee farmers...

[D]irect and continuous relations between buyers/traders and farmers/cooperatives are an important instrument to guarantee farmers with more planning security through stable prices...

To reach sustainable solutions, it is important that all players involved exchange experiences and good practices. That also means collaborating with possible competitors, specifically when sourcing from the same regions. Sustainable solutions also require a constant collaboration with local NGO’s, communities, rightsholders, local governments, producers and buyers...

[V]arious studies suggest that [certification] systems are [not] sufficient to address the environmental and social challenges of coffee cultivation in a way that secures the future of sustainable coffee trading.

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Related companies: Neumann Kaffee Gruppe