Saturday 13 April 2024
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Tchibo: from 2027 all coffees will come from responsible purchasing

Currently, 20 percent of all Tchibo coffees are certified by Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or the organic seal or come from Tchibo Joint Forces!(R) projects . These projects have been supporting coffee farmers for over 20 years in developing more sustainable farming methods and thus producing higher quality coffee. Tchibo has achieved a lot with this. However, certifications alone are not the solution. Farmers need more support on their way to more sustainable farming. Often the higher prices that they can achieve for certified products do not cover the production costs. In addition, there are rarely purchase guarantees for certified coffees on the market

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DESCAMEX COFFELOVERS 2024
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HAMBURG, Germany – The Hamburg coffee roaster Tchibo has the goal of only offering responsibly purchased coffee starting from 2027. Since coffee farmers worldwide are suffering from both the consequences of climate change and low incomes, a rethink in the coffee trade is urgently needed. Tchibo, roasted coffee market leader in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, is rising to the challenge.

Regardless of whether Feine Milde, Eduscho, Qbo, Cafissimo, Barista or rarities – from 2027 all Tchibo coffees should come from responsible purchasing.

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Coffee price and climate change

The effects of climate change on coffee cultivation are worrying. By 2050, the area under coffee cultivation could be halved*, as dryness and drought lead to significant crop failures. In addition, 70 percent of the 12.5 million coffee farmers worldwide manage small farms of less than one hectare. They suffer from low incomes, which can lead to problems such as child labor and illegal deforestation.

Pablo von Wanderfels, Director of Corporate Responsibility: “Sustainability in coffee is not a fixed state, but a path. The most pressing questions are: how can coffee farmers advance economically and at the same time better positioning themselves against climate change and other crises?”

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20 percent of all Tchibo coffees are certified

The need for action is therefore enormous. Currently, 20 percent of all Tchibo coffees are certified by Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or the organic seal or come from Tchibo Joint Forces!(R) projects .

These projects have been supporting coffee farmers for over 20 years in developing more sustainable farming methods and thus producing higher quality coffee. Tchibo has achieved a lot with this. However, certifications alone are not the solution. Farmers need more support on their way to more sustainable farming.

Often the higher prices that they can achieve for certified products do not cover the production costs. In addition, there are rarely purchase guarantees for certified coffees on the market.

Sustainable coffee program beyond the premium niche

Around 75,000 small farmers (including from Guatemala, Honduras, Vietnam and Brazil) produce all of Tchibo coffee. 80 percent of the coffee produced is not certified. But it is precisely these coffees that should be grown as environmentally friendly and socially responsible as possible so that the farmers’ livelihoods are significantly improved.

Pablo von Wanderfels explains: “In our view, the coffee industry needs to change significantly so that our favorite drink has a future. That’s why Tchibo is launching its new coffee sustainability program, because as a company we ourselves have to take responsibility more consistently. For each of our coffees we need to know where it comes from and under what conditions it is produced.”

Tchibo will help farmers build an economically stable foundation to make them more resilient to price fluctuations. This includes measures such as agroforestry, reforestation, cultivation of fruit trees and other crops, and the sowing of new varieties of coffee that are better protected against extreme weather. The implementation takes place in close cooperation with trainers and agronomists from the exporters.

The specific measures are coordinated regionally in order to achieve the greatest possible impact. In Brazil, for example, the focus is on protecting biodiversity, climate and water, while in Honduras the focus is on fighting poverty. This means that each country gets its own tailor-made program.

Vietnam is experimenting with the production of biochar. Farmers dispose of their organic waste in the pyrolysis oven and receive biochar after combustion. This serves as a carrier for fertilizers or compost and helps to improve the quality of the soil in the coffee fields.
What about the price?
The Hamburg coffee roaster wants to make all supply chains sustainable, regardless of how expensive the coffee on the shelf is. However, it is not possible to completely break away from established prices in a very competitive environment.
That’s why Tchibo relies on an intelligent mix: the coffee program, purchasing the highest possible qualities (with which the farmers also achieve higher prices) and the gradual expansion of the share of coffees from the program regions. This brings more sales and stability for the farmers.

Partner Enveritas

In order to achieve the greatest possible transparency about the areas of action, Tchibo works with the independent non-profit organization Enveritas. By the beginning of 2024, Enveritas will present country reports and analyzes for all coffee countries (including Brazil and Vietnam) where Tchibo regularly purchases.

Based on this data, Tchibo works with the people in the regions to develop tailor-made solutions without imposing a program on them. Enveritas also checks whether the programs are implemented and have an impact.

Strong together

Depending on the country and supply chains, Tchibo works in collaboration with local partners and NGOs, as well as with other companies and organizations such as the World Coffee Research and the German Coffee Association. It is important to find solutions together to strengthen the coffee sector. And to create a change towards more sustainability together.

Last but not least: what does “responsible purchasing” actually mean?

It takes three steps for coffee companies like Tchibo to receive proof of responsible purchasing from Enveritas: first, conducting an annual independent assessment of their supply chain for sustainability issues; secondly, to work on these problems in proportion to your own coffee purchases. Finally, coffee companies must have their efforts to achieve positive change independently assessed.

*CIAT Study 2021: Growing Coffee in the Face of Climate Change (coffeeandclimate.org)

About Tchibo

Tchibo stands for a unique business model. Tchibo operates around 900 shops, over 24,200 retail depots and national online shops in eight countries. Through this multichannel sales system, the company offers coffee and the Cafissimo and Qbo single-serve systems as well as weekly changing non-food ranges and services such as mobile communications. Tchibo achieved sales of 3.25 billion euros in 2022 with 11,318 employees internationally.

Tchibo is the roasted coffee market leader in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary and is one of the leading e-commerce companies in Europe.

The family business, founded in Hamburg in 1949, has received several awards for its sustainable business policy: in 2012 with the Prize for Business Ethics and the Environmental Prize for Logistics and in 2013 with the CSR Prizes of the Federal Government and the EU. In 2016, Tchibo was named the most sustainable large company in Germany.

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