The same great taste of coffee, but more environmentally friendly and fair to the local population that grows the plants that makes it all possible.
The coffee industry is massive, bringing in a whopping $225 Billion in the United States alone. Even achieving to get a small piece of market share would reap enormous cash flow, but to go from zero to 8% in just over a decade? That’s practically unheard of, but that is just what the sustainable coffee industry did, and their share of that is ever more increasing.
Sustainability is a crucial aspect for every company to avoid the image of being an evil corporation that burns villages and poisons fish. But it is more action than talk in real life, and that’s when the idea of sustainability labels kicks in.
These labels are to certify that the products that you buy are, in fact, organically sourced and are fair to the local population and to accommodate reasonable prices in every aspect of the supply chain. There is a special consideration for adhering to environmental standards set by international bodies such as The International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance (ISEAL), which gives out labels solely for attaching to working conditions that won’t harm the Earth in any way.
In addition to using fair practices within companies and the environment, sustainable coffee does have a slight edge over industrially produced coffee, like the aroma, scent, and overall taste of sustainable coffee is much more prosperous, and consumers can tell the difference. The damage done to the Earth by companies that only seek to make a profit has been realized by much of the global population. The pressure has churned out alternative, sustainable options that take into account the environment.
However, more has to be done. It seems that privatization encroaches on every good intention with lousy execution. Corporations like Starbucks and Nespresso use their certifications and labels to brand items sustainable but may, in fact, not be, as they are not independent organizations. In the areas of economics, sustainable labels are tough to be handed out by governmental agencies or by coffee industry heavyweights, as third party bypasses are all too common, with marketing specialists seeing the labeling of sustainable products as more of a marketing opportunity to attract socially conscious consumers, which is the primary goal of companies, but with third party certifications often sending out labels to companies. Limited knowledge of consumers to differentiate what brands are reliable is a small hurdle to pass through, as a majority of sustainable coffee products are certified by internationally recognized bodies. However, more research is required to see the in-depth effects that sustainable coffee products have on poorer economies to develop better techniques to improve people’s lives that work in the fields.