Sustainability of our products
We are pleased to state that 100% of Cooperative Coffee products, excluding Cuban exports, are Fairtrade certified and we have made a commitment to ensuring that everything we do, with the exception of products from nations where Fairtrade does not operate, is Fairtrade. As the Fairtrade Foundation, the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ are all members of ISEAL, we are happy to be certified by Fairtrade alone. We receive products from Cuba where Fairtrade does not operate but we are affiliated with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and we strive to maintain the highest standards of sustainability for our products sourced in Cuba. Moreover, 60% of our products are Organic and all of our products are 100% pesticide free, in accordance with EU standards and ratified by the Soil Association. The only products that are not Organic are those sourced from Costa Rica, Cuba, Ethiopia and our Colombian coffee from the Anserma, Caldas region. We are not certified by the Vegan or Vegetarian Society but all of our products are vegan neutral and we adhere to the codes of these organisations.
We do not believe in direct purchasing for our products. We buy all of our products from local co-operatives rather than directly from farmers. We do not believe in buying directly for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, buying directly means that one individual receives all of the money from the purchase, and one individual benefits rather than the benefit being spread across the community. Although we are sure that the vast majority of farmers are honest, there is always a chance that an individual may act in an unscrupulous manner. By purchasing from a co-operative, we can ensure that the money is used fairly and in a manner that benefits the entire community, as well as safeguarding the rights of the farmer’s employees with regards to receiving fair pay. Another reason we do not buy directly is to protect the continuity supply chain from any major issues. Buying directly from individual farmers runs the risk of losing supplies in any given year if a catastrophic event that devastates the crops and yields, buying from co-operatives prevents this from having a dramatic effect on our supply by allowing us to receive products from a variety of farmers. As a multi-stakeholder co-operative community where the farmers are members through their local cooperative, we recognise that farmers needs are important and should be satisfied. However, our customers are also part of our co-operative and their needs must also be recognised. We achieve this through continuity in our pricing at both ends of the supply chain, allowing us to satisfy the needs of all members of our co-operative community.
GM in our products
Our policy on GM products is simple. There are no circumstances where we use GM products, no caveats and no exceptions. We are completely opposed to GM. We will never use GM products, now or in the future. With regards to animal feed, we do not use any animals in our supply chain so we have no policy on GM ingredients in feed, although if we did utilise animals in the future we would be completely opposed to this.
Palm oil production is an incredibly destructive industry and is a major issue that needs to be tackled. We do not use any palm oil or palm-based derivatives in our products. Our coffee is never grown in areas that were at one point deforested for palm oil, or any other reason- we are deforestation free. The same applies to sourcing our products from areas stricken by conflict, be it caused by palm oil, mineral extraction or any other reason. Furthermore, we support various campaigns surrounding the use of palm oil, including the Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network. We fully support RAN in their efforts to increase the standards of RSPO.