Just ahead of National Coffee Day this Saturday, Dunkin’ and National DCP (NDCP), the franchisee-owned supply chain management cooperative, announced a five-year agreement with World Coffee Research, a nonprofit collaborative research and development program of the global coffee industry, to boost coffee sustainability. A percentage of sales from every pound of Original Blend coffee beans sold to Dunkin’ franchisees for use in Dunkin’ restaurants will now go to WCR in support of coffee sustainability efforts.
This financial contribution, which could amount to $2 million over the course of the agreement, will support WCR’s mission to grow, protect and enhance supplies of quality coffee, while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it.
“The commitment by the Dunkin’s system makes them one of our biggest donors and a leader in collaborative, pre-competitive agronomic research and development,” says Tim Schilling, CEO of World Coffee Research. “With rising temperatures and more frequently extreme weather, the need to make coffee plants more resilient to threats like diseases and droughts has never been more urgent. The support from Dunkin’ will be transformational in protecting the availability of quality coffee, and protecting the livelihood of coffee farmers across the globe through access to new coffee varieties and technologies.”
This funding for WCR’s research will advance several key objectives towards coffee sustainability, including:
Increase the supplies of quality coffee for the global coffee market through innovative, collaborative research on key supply constraints, including climate change, disease and insect problems, yield and quality, and the lack of genetic diversity.
Better understand the causes and effects of genetic, agronomic, and post-harvest factors on the quality of coffees in order to increase quality and volumes of coffee.
Improve the livelihoods of coffee growers by providing them with better, higher revenue-earning varieties and agronomic technologies.
Increase the capacity of coffee origin countries to execute advanced coffee research that will result in increased cup quality and volumes of quality coffee.
According to Karen Raskopf, Chief Communications and Sustainability Officer at Dunkin’ Brands, “As a leading coffee retailer, we have a responsibility to protect the commodities we source, and the farmers and producers whose livelihoods depend upon them. On behalf of our franchisee community, we are proud that every cup of Dunkin’ Original Blend coffee sold will support World Coffee Research’s ambitious and vital research efforts.”
“We are excited to support the work being done by World Coffee Research benefiting farmers around the world and shoring up long-term supply assurance for our franchisee cooperative members,” says Matt Daks, Director of Strategic Sourcing for Coffee and Tea at National DCP. “Through WCR’s CheckOff Program, we can help combat the impacts of climate change, develop more vibrant, vigorous, varietals and ensure farmers can grow healthier trees, resulting in better quality and higher volumes. In turn, our members can continue pouring the best tasting, freshest coffee available into the cups of millions of Americans every day. Dunkin’ stores sell 80 cups of coffee every second, and each one of those is supporting this incredible partnership."
Dunkin’ continues to make important progress towards its coffee sustainability goals. In 2017, Dunkin’ expanded its current work with the Rainforest Alliance to have all espresso beverages served at Dunkin’ U.S. restaurants and in approximately 16 international markets made with 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ beans. Dunkin’ and NDCP are working with Rainforest Alliance to increase its Dark Roast Coffee to 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified™ beans. In European markets, Dunkin’ restaurants also serve Fair Trade certified espresso.
Earlier this year, Dunkin’ announced plans to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain, with a targeted completion date of 2020. In U.S. restaurants, Dunkin’ will replace the foam cup with a new, double-walled paper cup. The majority of Dunkin’s international markets are currently using paper cups, and the brand will work with its franchisees to eliminate foam cups from the remaining international markets by the 2020 goal. Dunkin’s transition to paper cups is expected to remove nearly 1 billion foam cups from the waste stream annually.
In 2014, Dunkin’ launched DD Green Achievement, a program designed to help franchisees build sustainable, energy-efficient restaurants in the U.S. There are now approximately 186 DD Green Achievement restaurants around the country. Dunkin’ Brands has set a target to open 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants in the U.S. by the end of 2020. Additionally, Dunkin’s next generation concept store now being introduced into the system is approximately 25 percent more energy-efficient than the previous restaurant model.