New Report Highlights Trends, Opportunities and Increasing Sustainability Commitments in Coffee Sector
February 1, 2021
Arlington, Va. (Feb. 1, 2021) – Today, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge released its annual report showing a growing number of companies, NGOs and research institutions committed to improving coffee sector sustainability. The 2020 Commitments Hub Report showcases a spike of new commitments striving to conserve nature, improve the well-being and prosperity of coffee communities, strengthen market demand and foster resilient supply chains.
The report presents a rich analysis of 100+ sustainability pledges made by actors from across the coffee sector, highlighting both the annual progress of the Challenge’s more than 160 partners and areas where the overall industry can improve to make progress toward its collective goals of transparency, sustainability and collaboration.
“While the 2020 Hub Report does showcase a large portion of new commitments, there’s always room to drive towards more accountability in the coffee sector as we march towards our 2050 goals and 2025 benchmark targets. This means pushing for commitments that are SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — and pressing stakeholders to regularly report progress made against those commitments and their associated metrics,” said Raina Lang, Senior Director, Sustainable Coffee Markets at Conservation International.
The second ever Hub Report serves as the first example of how sustainability commitments could be compared year-over-year. This year’s report shows growing momentum:
- Increased commitments year-over-year. Between the 2019 and 2020 Hub Reports, stakeholders stated 38 new public commitments, representing 36% of overall commitments in the Hub.
- Resilient supply is the most common focus. Nearly 60% of commitments strive to attain a sustainably sourced and replenishable coffee supply for consumers.
- Commitments strongly support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), zero hunger (SDG 2) and the movement to restore nature (SDG 15).
- Commitments span the globe. Looking ahead to the next decade, Challenge partners aim to improve sustainability in 34 countries across Central America, South America, Asia, Africa, North America and Europe.
The Commitments Hub is an open online platform available to any coffee stakeholder willing to publicly state their commitments and report progress against those commitments over time. The availability of this information fosters understanding of sustainability actions at the individual and collective levels, drives new and more ambitious commitments to sustainable coffee, sparks collaboration and inspires partners and the sector at large.
The 2020 Hub Report also reveals opportunities for improvements in 2021 — including increased place-based collaboration between stakeholders to scale individual investments and more coffee stakeholders reporting progress made against their commitments. In addition, it also serves as an initial benchmark to track progress towards the sector-wide 2050 goals and 2025 targets that partners in the Challenge jointly developed and rolled out last year.
The full 2020 Commitments Hub Report is available at sustaincoffee.org/hub-report.
Founded in 2015 at the Paris climate treaty signing, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge resulted from a joint idea proposed by Conservation International and Starbucks. Eighteen organizations helped kickstart the Challenge’s commitment to coffee sustainability. Today the Challenge’s 161 partners, which include retailers, roasters, corporations, governments, NGOs and research organizations, are focused on sustainable sourcing, resilient coffee supply, farmer and worker well-being, prosperity, forests and climate. Eighteen new partners joined the challenge in 2020, including Whole Foods, ALDI South Group, and Paris-based food services company Sodexo, among others.
About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About the Sustainable Coffee Challenge
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge convenes, unites and urges the coffee sector and conservation partners across the industry to spur the actions and investments necessary to make coffee the first sustainable agriculture product in the world. The Challenge is committed to stimulating demand for sustainable coffee across the value chain, from the policymaking level to the final consumer. By encouraging demand for sustainable coffee, it leads to investments that enable the transition to a sustainable production and ensuring the coffee we drink is a sustainable product.