Hey, a Cuppa Joe – the morning treat for many people around the world. That first hot cup of dark coffee can set the tone for us for the day. And when our spirits (and energy) may lag, the cuppa joe can perk us up again for a while at any time of day. But – how many of us give thought to how that wonderful dark liquid arrived in our grocery stores, at the local Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts or other coffee counters?
The Ecologist took a close look at the business of coffee recently and their commentary (and report on the industry) is our Top Story for you this week.
The writer set out characterizing the global coffee industry as one that has been mostly “unsustainable” but lately, major coffee producers have been working to create more sustainable business models.
Guest Writer Emily Folk explains: the coffee industry spans countries and cultures, is centuries old, and from harvesting the beans through roasting to the final retail product, the industry is recognizing public expectations about some practices – and is undergoing changes. She ventures that “people have begun to take note and hold companies accountable” – like Starbucks – and in response, major coffee companies are making promises to do better. But are they keeping the promise? Doing enough?
Alas, there is a lack of progress to be reported, she says. As well as some progress to cheer about. Starbucks according to a news report in the UK runs water 24 hours a day in the production process. Bad practice? The company has also been selling reusable cups and installing recycling bins at every store. Certainly good practices.
Should the buying public pressure brand name companies like Starbucks to do more? The writer delves into that.
It would be good to recognize that progress is being made by growers through retail food marketing companies and to be thoughtful about what is next in that company’s (and other companies’) sustainability journeys.
The G&A Institute team has been working with food and agriculture companies on various issues over many years. This is a sector (Food & Ag) rich in traditional practices and ripe for positive change as stakeholders and consumers present their expectations for the firms to be more sustainable – and accountable to society. Every week in the newsletter we present Food & Ag news, commentary and research content for your consideration. There are several items in this issue on the topics.
This is just the introduction of G&A's Sustainability Highlights newsletter this week. Click here to view the full issue.
KEYWORDS: business & trade, Corporate Social Responsibility, GRI, Governance & Accountability Institute, socially responsible investing, Sovereign Wealth Funds, sustainability, Corporate Citizenship, esg