Coffee is the national drink of Finns and for us at Paulig it is important that future generations are able to enjoy coffee too.
Finns are world champions in coffee consumption, and are also highly quality-conscious. We can appreciate quality thanks to the soft Finnish water, which brings out the flavours of quality coffee. Coffee is also a “social glue” that brings people together, making it an integral part of our culture. And as the days grow darker here in the North, coffee is also a source of energy! There are threats to coffee’s future, however, and we want to make sure that future generations will also be able to enjoy coffee moments.
The key factor in the coffee chain is the coffee farmer–a local and small-scale entrepreneur trying their best to make a living and sustain a business while battling problems caused by climate change. Despite these dark clouds, I believe in a bright future for coffee. But effective action must be taken.
Profitable coffee farming in the heart of the future of coffee
I have visited coffee farms in Africa, Central America and Vietnam. In all these different parts of the world, coffee growers have told me that unexpected weather conditions have increased, and have affected the quality and quantity of their crops. Drought, intense heat and other extreme weather phenomena brought on by climate change cause many kinds of uncertainty to the sources of livelihood of coffee growers.
About 70 percent of the world’s coffee comes from farms of under two hectares in size. These farms are run by families, and as a family company Paulig also starts from the baseline that coffee farmers must be able to make a living from their work and support themselves and their families. Ensuring the profitability of coffee farming in the countries of origin is the only guarantee of a continuing coffee supply.
Sustainability requires actions
Paulig has already reached nearly 100,000 coffee farmers through its partnership programmes. Paulig is a founding member of the International Coffee Partners initiative, established in 2001 and covering about 66,000 farmers. The new Paulig partnership programmes launched in cooperation with export companies in Columbia and Nicaragua now reach about 1,500 coffee farms. More Paulig programmes are currently being established in Africa and South America. These programmes will support tens of thousands of farmers.
We also take sustainable development into account in our operations. We are a forerunner on environmental matters: we roast cleanly with biogas, produce zero landfill waste, and all our coffee packaging can be recycled.
We have decided that by the end of 2018, all our coffee will come sources confirmed as sustainable. We know where and in what circumstances the coffee grows. In future, we will be even more involved in partnership programmes that will help coffee farmers to improve their income level and the wellbeing of their local communities.
For the bright future of coffee,
Managing Director of Paulig Group’s Coffee Division