“This goal is very important to Caribou because we believe a great coffee experience starts with environmental stewardship on coffee farms and throughout the entire coffee production process,” says Chad Trewick, senior director of coffee and tea for Caribou Coffee. “Our collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance has a profound impact on coffee-producing communities, helping farmers become more environmentally responsible, gain production efficiencies, and often earn a better price for their coffees.”
Rainforest Alliance Certified farms meet the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), a coalition of independent, nonprofit conservation groups. The certification is built on three pillars of sustainability—environmental, social and economic—and works by setting standards to guide growers and farm operations of all sizes to more sustainable agriculture practices. Farms that comply with certification criteria are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval.
“Having all of our handcrafted regular espresso drinks made with certified beans is a big accomplishment and we’re very proud, but our work isn’t finished,” Trewick says. “We’ll continue to push towards 100 percent certification of all of our beans and encourage and support our global producing partners in looking for more ways to embrace sustainable practices.”
Caribou Coffee also encourages and supports its business partners in their sustainability efforts by sharing its Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees through its “We love coffee too, that’s why we proudly brew” program. As part of this program, business partners and grocery outlets that brew and serve Caribou Coffee will be serving the same certified beans that customers find in Caribou’s coffeehouses.
In addition to the newly certified espresso, 13 coffee blends available in Caribou’s coffeehouses are 100 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified, with two more on track for certification later this year. In total, Caribou Coffee will purchase nearly 17 million pounds of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee in 2010.