29th April 2021
What are we doing already?
Cafédirect was set up as a mission-led business, which is why we reinvest our profits into the communities of smallholder growers. We also purchase 100% Fairtrade certified coffee, tea and cocoa and pay an additional Fairtrade premium which some cooperatives use to invest in sustainable farming practices. The Fairtrade Standards also includes environmental and land management practices that prohibit deforestation, protect water sources and enhance biodiversity.
Currently, 55% of our coffee is certified organic, which supports soil health and minimises water usage. We also pay an additional organic premium of 0.30 $/lb which is split between direct payment to farmers and investment in equipment that can be utilised by the cooperative members.
Through our continuous investment in Producers Direct, a farmer-led charity that works alongside 1.3m smallholder growers, we have supported multiple climate initiatives from pre-purchasing carbon credits which enabled 224 hectares of forest to be replanted to investing in pioneering technology, such as Croppie, an Artificial Intelligence photography app that can feedback data to growers in real-time about how well their crops are performing. Croppie is also being funded by a $100k prize through the CGIAR INSPIRE Challenge and is supported by Ideo.org and Bioversity International CIAT.
What else are we doing this year?
We have updated our Gold Standard, our sustainability manifesto that accompanies our vision and is central to our business. We will be publishing our Gold Standard shortly so that our supporters can understand our ambitions and help us to meet them.
- We are creating a regenerative agriculture framework with Producers Direct. This means farming practices that focus on contributing to the health of ecosystems and human communities. Among the benefits include the building of soil organic matter – supporting carbon sequestration, increasing biodiversity and fairness to farmers.
- We also recognise that we need to be responsible as a business for our environmental impact throughout our entire supply chain. Last year we mapped our carbon emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 across our supply chain and have already identified ways to reduce our carbon impact in key hotspots, including transportation, packaging and foodservice. We are now exploring signing up to science-based targets, which will help provide a roadmap into reducing carbon emissions in line with the 1.5 degrees required to prevent irreversible climate change.
- Part of this complex challenge involves other actors in our industry, our supply chain and our customers. This is why we are recertifying as a B Corp this year, which helps us to identify any gaps and share knowledge within a very action-oriented business community. We also signed the Better Business Act, which places environmental commitments as part of its amendment to the legislation. We will also be amending our Articles of Association this year to include revised commitments to environmental practices and creating a balance between shareholders, growers and stakeholders of the business.
- We are actively talking about Climate Justice at panel events and supporting other partners’ climate campaigns. We are delighted to be part of Toast Ale’s ‘Rise Up’ campaign and we will be releasing a Limited Edition Coffee Porter later this year.
“When Cafédirect was born 30 years ago it was a social justice intervention to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers. It is increasingly clear that adopting business models that engage with the millions of smallholder farmers in the world is not only paramount from a social perspective but central to combating climate change. Putting climate justice at the heart of all that business does is fundamental to everyone’s future. The Better Business Act is an excellent move forward, which we are proud to embrace” – John Steel, CEO of Cafédirect