Do You Think About Where Your Coffee Comes From?
For many of us coffee is an essential part of our day, whether it’s our go-to beverage first thing in the morning, a treat we pick up from the local coffee shop on the way to work, or something we drink multiple mugs of during a day at our desk.
But how often do you think about where your coffee comes from? Are you even aware which countries we import from, and as a business, like an independent coffee shop, how can you communicate where your coffee has come from to your customers?
Well, for coffee shops that will very much depend on where you source your beans from. If you use private label coffee, you’ll be able to ask your supplier more about where your coffee comes from and how it’s grown – information that you can then share with your customers.
One thing that more people are aware of nowadays is the Fairtrade movement, with research from the Fairtrade Foundation showing that 93 per cent of customers in the UK know the brand, while 83 per cent trust the Fairtrade Mark.
More and more retailers are looking at how to make sure that more of their products meet Fairtrade standards, and with consumers clearly interested in this element of food and drink production, it would make sense for other outlets to do the same where there is an opportunity.
Writing for the Yorkshire Post recently, Tim Aldred, head of the Fairtrade Foundation, explained that the organisation was formed to help fight against exploitation around the world. He revealed that one in three people in the tea and coffee growing regions in Kenya live in poverty, for instance.
He also pointed out how far the Fairtrade Foundation has come since its inception in the early 1990s, and urged customers to pick Fairtrade products where possible to help ensure better living standards for people around the globe.
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, the organisation is looking at new ways that it can work with commercial partners to ensure supply chain transparency and to make sure that all farmers and producers, whatever their produce, get a fair deal for their work.
According to Fairtrade figures, global coffee consumption has increased dramatically since 1970, from 4.2 million tonnes then to 8.7 million tonnes in 2015. Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia are the four main coffee-producing countries, collectively accounting for more than 60 per cent of all coffee supplies.
While the organisation works with over 812,000 coffee farmers around the globe, they only produce 549,400 tonnes of coffee – which is not a huge amount when you consider the volumes of coffee being traded and consumed around the world.
By making responsible choices for your business, and as a consumer, it’s possible to help make a positive change and encourage more people to embrace the concept of Fairtrade, with the research indicating that the majority are already behind the idea.
Highlighting your outlet’s sustainable and ethical approach to sourcing coffee – and other produce – is the key to ensuring customers are onboard and are therefore happy to pay a slightly higher price for their morning cup of coffee.