Sustainable Coffee Challenge Welcomes Nine New Partners

June 13, 2019

Arlington, Va. (June 6, 2019) – The Sustainable Coffee Challenge today announced 9 new partners – Kahlúa, Philz Coffee, Kauai Coffee Company, Blanchard's Coffee Roasting Co., RGC Coffee, Westrock Coffee Company, Qahwah Club, Strategies for International Development, and Bellsystem24. They have joined the Challenge's mission to make coffee the world's first sustainable agricultural project and are among 125 partners including corporations, governments, NGOs and research organizations.

As part of its partnership, Kauai Coffee Company has made a commitment to increase the sustainability of its soil use on its orchard land area. Currently, 8-10% of its 3,100 acres use a combination of thermophilic compost and cover crop for soil remediation. By 2022, Kauai Coffee Company hopes to have more than 30% of orchard land use applying this combination.

Westrock Coffee, a vertically integrated coffee company, ethically sources their coffee from smallholder farmers all over the world. They are committed to providing farmers with tools and training, financing, market risk management, quality control and financial management training. Westrock's unique business model has created transparent supply chains extending from origin to consumer.

Additionally, RGC Coffee is working towards the long term viability of coffee by fostering gender equity, farmworkers' dignity and climate change resilience through a verifiable and measurable approaches that involve all stakeholders in the supply chain.

Meanwhile, Strategies for International Development is committed to maximizing the income and profitability for coffee-farming families in Guatemala in a sustainable and environmental manner.

Bellsystem24 is planning to achieve sustainability through the coffee it serves and its in-house café expansion. It launched its first in-house café in February 2019 where all the coffee served from Mi Cafeto was sustainable. Bellsystem24 expects to establish more than 4 in-house cafés by 2021, which will increase its volume of sustainable coffee distribution.

"Reaching 125 partners in the Challenge is an incredible milestone. We're encouraged to see that these partners publicly stated 6 commitments to coffee sustainability upon joining. These new commitments send a strong signal of increased sector transparency and accountability, facets of the Challenge that grow more relevant as we jointly tackle the current coffee price crisis and climate variability. These commitments combined with the Challenge's urgency for collective action will get us closer to making coffee sustainable," said Bambi Semroc, Vice President of Sustainable Markets and Strategy at Conservation International.

The Sustainable Coffee Challenge, conceived by Conservation International and Starbucks and launched during the Paris climate meetings in 2015, is uniting players from across the coffee industry – growers, traders, roasters, retailers, governments and NGOs. It works to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee while forming partnerships to find and scale up programs promoting improved livelihoods, nature conservation and a continued supply of coffee.

The Sustainable Coffee Challenge engages in collaborative efforts with its partners across four networks to achieve its mission: scaling up sustainable sourcing; farm renovation and rehabilitation; improved labor practices and supply and mapping and monitoring of coffee and forests. To join as a partner, contact Valerie Beard, Manager, Sustainable Coffee Challenge at [email protected].

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking  "Nature Is Speaking" campaign and its series of virtual reality projects: "Drop in the Ocean""My Africa,"  "Under the Canopy" and "Valen's Reef." Follow Conservation International's work on our Human Nature blog, FacebookTwitterInstagram 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.


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