How we buy coffee is unique and vitally important to considerations of sustainability.
We make detailed contracts with each of our partners before their harvest even begins, setting specific goals for quality and sustainability. This planning process gives both our partners and us added predictability, the ability to plan financially, and the freedom to experiment.
We build partnerships
Direct communication and transparency help us to build long-term partnerships in the supply chain. Those partnerships allow us to work with coffee farmers and farmer groups on projects to improve quality, encourage sustainable agricultural practices, and address social issues.
We create shared value
We strive to create initiatives that benefit both us and our supply chain partners. We've learned that relationship-building and good communication are the keys to identifying these initiatives.
In-person visits are a great way to build strong partnerships with farmers, co-ops, washing stations, mills, and exporters. We visit almost all of the places we buy coffee from every two years and keep in constant contact via phone and email.
We value quality
We know that people come to us first and foremost for the taste of our coffees. Each year, we set goals with every producer partner to continuously improve the quality of the coffees we purchase.
We evaluate environmental conditions
Many of the coffees we purchase are certified organic, which is a good indicator of environmental sustainability—especially as it relates to soil health. We’re working to develop an even more holistic set of sustainability indicators and are currently field-testing a beta version of this evaluation during our farm visits this year.
The cost of investments in quality and sustainability should not be borne by farmers alone. We recognize improvements in these areas by paying higher prices for coffees and working with transparent supply chain partners to ensure that those payments are distributed equitably.
We seek continuous improvement
We value continuous improvement and we partner with growers who don’t just work to meet minimum specifications, but push themselves, and us, to always be getting better.
We share information
Sharing information is one of the core elements of transparency. We share information to show evidence of continuous improvement, to hold ourselves accountable for buying increasingly sustainable coffee, and as a way for consumers to make more informed decisions.
Our definition of sustainable coffee starts at the farm and ends with drinking brewed coffee. We believe that for coffee to be sustainable, all of the practices along the supply chain should be taken into account. That is why we strive for measurable environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability in everything we do.
Coffee has the potential to thrive in healthy, biodiverse environments while also supporting the livelihoods of the farmers who grow it and the communities where they live. Our programs at origin work to push that potential.
Our commitment to sustainability also includes our work here at home—in our roasteries and training centers, with our retail partners, and with like-minded organizations with whom we work to serve common causes.
In every region where we open a training center, we support community-based organizations that focus on sustainable agriculture and food security—two issues we encounter frequently at origin that we also see reflected in our local communities.
Friends in Sustainability
Sustainability is a global issue and we can’t tackle it alone. Working collaboratively, both within and outside of our supply chains, allows us to share best practices and learn from our peers to scale our impact.