McDonald’s, Caribou Coffee and Green Mountain Coffee are among the companies buying Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee — and attributing to the rapid growth in sustainable coffee sourcing. Last year, 375,000 metric tons of coffee, representing 4.5 percent of global production, was grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, a 45 percent increase over 2011, the nonprofit says.
When companies choose to source certified sustainable coffee, they help conserve natural resources and improve livelihoods of farm communities, Rainforest Alliance says. Sustainable certification also helps ensure long-term viability of supply chains, according to the organization.
Last month, McDonald’s USA announced that it requires its suppliers to source 100 percent of its espresso from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. This builds on McDonald’s existing commitment to Rainforest Alliance certification, sourcing 100 percent of the coffee it serves in its restaurants in Australia and New Zealand and a majority of markets in Europe from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. In addition, 100 percent of the espresso served by McDonald’s Canada is sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Other major coffee companies committed to sustainable certification in North America include Caribou Coffee, Second Cup, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Nespresso, Rainforest Alliance says. In January 2012, Caribou Coffee became the first major US coffeehouse to source 100 percent of its coffee and espresso beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Second Cup now purchases more than 90 percent of its coffees from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, and all of its tea and tisanes carry the green frog seal.
Additionally, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ Timothy’s World Coffee brand achieved its 2012 goal of 50 percent of its sold coffee coming from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and aims to reach 70 percent by 2013, according to Rainforest Alliance. And as part of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, which incorporates Sustainable Agriculture Network standards, the Rainforest Alliance has been working with Nespresso for 10 years to promote environmental and social responsibility on supplier farms and support producers who wish to seek Rainforest Alliance certification.
More than 118,000 coffee farms covering almost 800,000 acres (323,500 hectares) are now Rainforest Alliance Certified and meet standards for best practices and environmental and social sustainability, the organization says.