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Sustainability and Social Responsibility in the coffee industry- more than just PR?

The demand for coffee in the western world has increased rapidly. According to High Charts, 3.2million cups of espresso based coffee were sold per week in UK coffee shops during the year 2000. In 2016 this figure is expected to reach 17.9 million. In view of this increasing demand, the media is predicting a “coffee crisis” in the next three to five years.* There are a limited number of growers producing Arabica coffee beans, used in making high quality espresso-based drinks. The crop is grown at very high altitudes, on farms that are often less than a hectare in size and have low yields. Some farmers may only produce a few bags of coffee beans per year. If supply has any hope of meeting demands, the coffee companies must invest in the communities upon which their product depends, and the growers must aim to produce a sufficient and consistent supply of quality coffee beans.

Paradoxically, the work of isolated rural farmers in the developing world is fuelling our growing coffee shop culture, synonymous with a modern contemporary lifestyle. Whether the coffee company is a well-known giant or a small artisan roaster, working together with growers is mutually beneficial, and a sustainable future for the industry should be secured.

Social, environmental and economic development are the main strands of sustainability. Typical investment projects involve improving the lives of people and communities; protecting and preserving the environment they work in and ensuring adequate income for a long term livelihood.

Each coffee brand has its own approach to sustainability and social responsibility. In future blogs we will present the differing projects being undertaken by the brands we supply, including Kenco, Douwe Egberts, and Keurig. We think you’ll find they are more than just PR!

For more information about our coffee, office coffee vending machines and fully managed vending service, please visit www.westwaysvending.co.uk or call Ian on 0800 195 3170

*The Daily Telegraph – 4th January 2016
  • Twinings
  • Walkers
  • Starbucks
  • Suchards
  • Nestle
  • Lucozade
  • Mars
  • Nescafe
  • Keurig
  • Kenco
  • Cocacola
  • Britvic
  • DE
  • Cadbury