Kraft Foods is launching an instant coffee, called Kenco Sustainable Development, made entirely from beans from certified sustainable sauces.
The coffee, which will be available first in Waitrose and then other major UK supermarkets this autumn, has been independently certified by the Rainforest Alliance. It is the first such launch by Kraft under a mainstream coffee brand.
Annemieke Wijn, senior director of commodity sustainability programmes, said the move was the culmination of a 10-year strategy to buy more coffee from sustainable sources, and was driven by commercial need as well as an ethical stance.
“More consumers are
demanding from mainstream brands that they are made in a more ethical, sustainable way.”
Kraft chose Kenco to be the first of its brands to feature wholly sustainably sourced beans because of its mainstream positioning, said Wijn, adding that the price point of £2.55 was 19p higher than Kenco Really Smooth and Kenco Really Rich but significantly lower than fair trade-certified brands. “It is aimed at people who want to buy ethical products but don’t want to go the whole way on price,” she said.
Although the rate paid to farmers is less than fair trade schemes, Kraft said it was more flexible as it was based on world market prices rather than being a fixed sum.
Since Kraft first entered into a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance last year, it has more than doubled the volume of beans sourced sustainably and will have sourced 6,900 tonnes this year compared with 2,400 last year.
Kraft’s goal is for all its coffee to be sustainably grown. Only 1% of its offering currently comes from sustainable sources.
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Liz Hamson