The Sustainable Coffee Challenge is a movement that works to make coffee the world's first sustainable agricultural product. To this end, we seek and promote industry-wide solutions that have a positive impact on all facets of the sector, from the farm to the consumer. The objective of the challenge is for participating organizations to make commitments related to sustainability, with the vision of making coffee a completely sustainable crop. As demand increases (consumers drink 600 billion cups of coffee a year), rising temperatures, drought and changes in weather patterns are affecting to coffee production.
Currently, almost half of the world's coffee is produced according to a sustainability standard, a figure that does not yet take into account a series of significant recent investments made by the sector to help farmers in their transition to more sustainable practices. The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is proud to be a member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, which is led by one of TSC's main partners, Conservation International. Starbucks has a long-standing commitment to improving the sustainability and longevity of coffee production, specifically prioritizing making coffee the world's first sustainable product. The publication Coffee Sustainability Insights summarizes the profile in an easy-to-understand, one-page document aimed at retailers and brand sales teams.
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge comes at a time when nearly every major coffee-producing region in the world is feeling the impacts of climate change. Founded in 1955 and currently the second largest restaurant chain in the world, McDonald's takes seriously its commitment to increasing the sustainability of coffee supplies. Efforts like this to better define, measure and expand the sustainable coffee market are very welcome. Despite all the great efforts of those who set the standards, NGOs and the farmers themselves, the sustainability of the coffee sector will ultimately depend on the commitment of the industry itself to promote and demand better practices.
The Sustainable Coffee Challenge will also provide environmental benefits, including the conservation of vital forests that help combat climate change by storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and protecting freshwater resources. To facilitate this task, TSC has published its survey of coffee suppliers and other components of its coffee toolkit so that they become public domain. As a founding member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, Starbucks has been an industry leader in providing help. The coffee category sustainability profile (CSP) identifies environmental and social hotspots and opportunities for improvement throughout the coffee supply chain.
The world consumes around 1 billion cups of coffee a day, and demand for coffee has increased by nearly 50% over the past 12 years, a growth that is expected to continue.