Sustainable coffee suppliers makes a whole latte sense…

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April 19, 2018

Sustainable coffee suppliers makes a whole latte sense…

Sustainable coffee suppliers make a whole 'latte' sense

Flat White, Americano, Frappuccino, Cappuccino, Decaf, the menu for coffee is extensive and ever-growing, and to celebrate UK Coffee Week, we have brewed up a post about how our software can help businesses in the foodservice and food and drink manufacturing sectors manage sustainability risks in the coffee supply chain more effectively.

So sit down, put your feet up and grab your coffee of choice…

The bitter truth about your coffee

It’s unsurprising to know that coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world, and is becoming an increasingly ‘on-trend’ social activity, not to mention the severe caffeine addicts that walk amongst us – don’t even talk to them until they’ve had a morning coffee.

There is, however, one thing that many people who need their caffeine fix pause and think about before flicking on the kettle – and that’s sustainable coffee.

With the growing demand for coffee, comes intense agricultural developments in countries such as Indonesia, Colombia and Vietnam. This can have a detrimental impact on rainforests and natural resources. As a result, species such as the orangutan face extinction – with the Sumatran orangutan now classified as critically endangered.

This obviously has an impact on customers who purchase their coffee from the plethora of coffeehouses, restaurants and pub chains nationwide, with those who are ethically-minded opting for sustainable coffee that looks after the world while fulfilling their caffeine buzz.

Establishments worldwide are now pro-actively serving up coffee using suppliers who maintain sustainability practices and who can prove that their crops are farmed in a way which has little to no impact on wildlife and the rainforests. Failure to do so, and convey this, can result in reputational damage and potential loss of custom.

Save the earth – grounds for change

With increasing pressure on us all to become greener, coupled with powerful documentaries such as Blue Planet II (we all love David Attenborough), society is becoming more mindful about the amount of waste we throw away and how it impacts on the earth, particularly plastic.

On the back of this, some of the biggest organisations across the world have, quite literally, woken up and smelt the coffee, and are pledging to help the planet in any way possible.

Take Starbucks for example, they have invested millions of pounds into creating the world’s first recyclable and compostable disposable coffee cup. Pretty neat, right? So it’s only a matter of time before other businesses follow suit.

With a more ethically-driven market, comes increasing pressure on companies to cater to their consumers, and coffee businesses can look at their packaging to try and become more sustainable. This can, in turn, increase retention and revenue.

Stop procaffeinating and source more sustainably!

Sourcing sustainable coffee and cups/packaging, along with other items, can feel like a near-impossible task, especially when your supply chain is sometimes worldwide and thousands-strong, with all data held on manual spreadsheets and in filing cabinets – how retro.

Luckily, specialist supplier management software can provide foodservice businesses who serve coffee with a clear advantage when it comes to managing sustainability risks and working with sustainable suppliers.

Trade Interchange’s ARCUS® SIM software requires the supplier to onboard themselves and complete comprehensive and tailored questionnaires, where businesses can ask specific questions around their sustainable status and the origins of their coffee products.

Supporting documents and data can be stored centrally in the cloud, meaning that operators can reduce administration and have easy access to these, which is important when it comes to auditing, proving they have done their due diligence and played a part in saving the orangutans – what’s not to love about that?

As well as this, SIM’s advanced functionality allows users to collect even more information from suppliers at a product level – including detailed information about packaging. This information can then be used to identify suppliers who use greener materials enabling more mindful decisions to be made when selecting the suppliers to work with, therefore boosting their sustainability statuses.


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