Quick answer: it can be! But it’s up to people like you to support sustainable coffee brands
In an ideal world, all the coffee being sold would be sustainable, but the sad reality is that a lot of coffee producers put high short-term profits above everything else. This has devastating effects on the environment as well as the people who grow and process it.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. At Holland & Barrett, we stock a variety of sustainable coffee brands that produce the delicious, high-quality coffee you want, sustainably.
What is sustainable coffee?
Recyclable coffee cups, reduction of waste and compostable coffee pods are all really great, but when you get into it, truly sustainable coffee requires this and so much more.
Sustainable coffee can be achieved by paying farmers and producers a fair share of coffee profits and limiting the environmental damage caused by growing and producing it. How are the two linked? When farmers are paid fairly and long-term growth is put before short-term profit, practices can be put in place to make more sustainable coffee.
These practices include implementing good agricultural practices, providing good working conditions for workers, protecting the environment and paying everyone along the supply chain a fair wage.
How do I know my coffee is sustainable?
If you care about the people who make your coffee, the coffee you buy should at the very least be certified Fairtrade or have its own ethical trading policy in place. Because fair wages, working hours and not using child labour, amongst other basic policies, should be the bare minimum.
Looking after the environment is also a major factor in sustainable coffee, from preserving the soil and forests to cutting down on wasteful packaging – it all counts! Let us tell you what the lovely people- and planet- friendly coffee brands we stock do to keep their coffee sustainable.
Eco-friendly coffee pods
A quick, tasty and - quite frankly - fun way to get barista coffee at home – who’s going to say no to that? Unfortunately, most coffee pods we pop in our Nespresso machines end up creating a lot of unnecessary waste. Don't worry though, there's a more planet-friendly way to get your coffee: sustainable coffee pods.
Roastworks Coffee Co Ltd provide you with delicious sustainable coffee minus the guilt with their 100% recyclable aluminum coffee capsules. Source Climate Change Coffee go one step further and sell organic, biodegradable and compostable coffee pods that are compatible with your Nespresso machine.
Supporting farmers and producers
Fast, high profits should never come before the welfare of the farmers and producers who make it. Did you know that sometimes farmers are forced to sell their coffee for less money than it cost to produce it? We will never support that. All of the coffee brands we stock are Fairtrade certified or have an ethical policy in place as a promise to pay their workers well and ensure they have fair working hours, amongst other basic rights.
One sustainable coffee all-star we are proud to stock is Cafédirect Coffee who were the first coffee company to become Fairtrade certified all the way back in 1994. Buying Fairtrade ensures that farmers are not only paid a minimum Fairtrade price for their goods, but they also get an additional Fairtrade premium. This allows coffee farmers to improve production techniques, invest in their communities and plan for the future.
Another of our coffee brands that value their farmers are New Kings Coffee. They donate to a charity called Grounds for Health who provide screening, treatment and training to support cervical cancer patients in coffee growing regions.
Preserving the environment
Without the lush rainforests of Africa, South America and Asia, the coffee we know and love wouldn’t exist – so it makes sense to protect it. Instead of supporting the greedy companies who chop down large areas of forests like it’s nothing for maximum gain, we want to support businesses who care about and actively protect the environment.
A good example of this is Source Climate Change Coffee who actively address climate change through every product they sell. They invest in small-scale farmers, indigenous people and plantation workers to make sure that everyone in the supply chain is happy and produce premium coffee. This naturally extends to educating farmers on how to protect their land and giving them resource to do it, thus promoting climate-change-friendly coffee.
Start everyday knowing you're supporting hard-working coffee farmers and protecting the Earth with sustainable coffee. Shop from the full Holland & Barrett coffee range here.