Improving traceability benefits the entire coffee chain

Traceability is a part of the coffee chain’s management of risk and quality. It can help to obtain information on both the quality of the raw materials and such quality-related issues as ethics in the procurement chain. The better the coffee’s origin is known, the easier it is to secure the smooth running of the delivery and production chains and to solve problems arising in them.

Because of the massive scale of the coffee trade and the predominantly small size of plantations, tracing green coffee back to the plantation is a challenge. Tracing all coffee is still a long way off, because there are no established, global methods available. There are also big differences between the coffee producing countries. At the same time, consumers’ interest in the origins and responsible production of coffee is constantly growing.

Paulig is working systematically on the traceability of all the coffee it buys in cooperation with its trading partners. In 2011, the coffee bought by Paulig could be traced 100% to the export companies in the countries of origin, 88% to the cooperatives and processing plants, and 47% to the coffee plantation or cooperative representing plantations.

Research on traceability continues in 2013. Research is performed in the form of spot checks, but it covers a considerable portion of green coffee purchases. Targets are set for traceability, and traceability is monitored by Paulig for individual countries. For the targets to be realistic, they figure in the countries’ differing stages of development.