Mondelez International - the world’s secondlargest coffee company - has this week unveiled new steps intended to boost the sustanability of its coffee supply.
Two years after launching its Coffee Made Happy sustainability programme, Mondelez has announced a new goal to create a million ‘coffee entrepreneurs’ by 2020 - farmers who have been given access to skills and resources to improve their profitability and sustainability.
Mondelez said the move had the potential to limit the impact of factors such as coffee leaf rust and the recent drought in Brazil, which had contributed to the price of arabica beans rising 78.2% year on year [Mintec].
“We can’t control the weather in Brazil,” said Mondelez global sustainability manager Malcolm Hett. “What we do plan to do is make farmers more adaptable and responsive.”
Mondelez has linked with the Committee on Sustainability Assessment to develop an evaluation framework for the programme, as well as creating an independent advisory board.
When Coffee Made Happy launched, the company committed to sustainably sourcing 100% of the coffee for its Western European markets by 2015 - a target it now says it is 89% of the way to achieving.
Hett added his company had an obligation to drive change, and that the evaluation framework would allow it to apply the programme to regions with different conditions. The new work is being funded from Coffee Made Happy’s original £200m budget.
“Up until now we’ve been reliant on third-party verification and certification systems,” he said. “These have been fantastic but are not necessarily right for reaching every farmer.”
The evaluation will use an outcome-based approach, involving data analysis and impact assessments to measure how the projects affect coffee farmers on the ground.