Having a good cup of coffee is a morning ritual for most of us. There’s nothing like the aroma of that first cup.
At Walmart, we are working to provide a range of coffee product options that are affordable, high-quality and that build trust with our customers. One way we’re doing this is by sourcing third-party certified sustainably-grown coffee for products sold in our stores and clubs. For example, we are proud to sell merchandise with Rainforest Alliance Certified seals. These seals indicate that, according to the standards set by the Sustainable Agriculture Network, certain products were grown with care by farmers working to build sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities.
We also are the first major North American retailer to join Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The Sustainable Coffee Challenge is a collaborative effort of companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and others seeking to advance sustainability efforts in the coffee sector. In joining The Challenge, Walmart set a goal to purchase all of its private brand coffee sustainably by the end of 2020. We know our customers are looking for sustainable options, and when they enjoy the aroma of our private brand coffee, we want to be able to meet their expectations.
As a retailer, we value the men and women who produce the products our customers want, and we expect our suppliers to provide workers with safe and healthy working conditions. Earlier this year, Walmart reinforced this expectation at the first convening of the World Coffee Producers Forum in Medellin, Colombia. During my remarks at the forum, I spoke to coffee sector representatives about how we can create a more equitable value chain that benefits customers, workers and businesses.
During a recent tour of the La Miranda Farm on the outskirts of Medellin, Colombia, we had the privilege to speak with Gonzalo Valencia – a passionate coffee grower with more than 30 years of experience. Mr. Valencia provided valuable insights on some of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the coffee value chain. Multiple generations of Mr. Valencia’s family have worked as coffee growers, much like scores of other growers throughout Latin America and Africa who have contributed to our Great Value Classic Roast and Sam’s Choice Colombia Supremo coffee blends.
Our engagement with coffee bean growers such as Mr. Valencia and other cultivators around the world gives us important insights on how we can assist them and improve the sustainability of coffee production.
By selling products with certifications and incorporating feedback from coffee growers, we are working to make our coffee value chain effective and sustainable for everyone, from the farmers to our customers and that first delicious sip in the morning.
KEYWORDS: Sustainable Development Goals, Responsible Production & Consumption, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Sustainable Coffee Challenge, Sustainable Agriculture Network, Walmart