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Little Rock-based Westrock Coffee Company announced Tuesday (Sept. 21) it would “responsibly source” 100% of the company’s coffee and tea by 2025.
Responsible sourcing involves establishing traceable and sustainable supply chains. Westrock has created a program with distinct data points that provides end-to-end transparency of its supply chain.
“Sustainability is more than an initiative – it is a symbiotic relationship that links company, cultivator, and consumer. It balances need with opportunity, efficiency with excellence, and success with responsibility,” said Scott Ford, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Westrock Coffee. “Our industry can only reach its full potential if we facilitate absolute transparency and pursue sustainability from farmer to customer. This work begins with responsible sourcing.”
“We are excited to continue the sustainability journey that started 12 years ago with a small exporting business in Rwanda. While our hands-on approach to working with our farmer partners and customers remains the same, we are humbled by the opportunity to expand this across 173 million pounds of coffee and tea globally,” said Matt Smith, Westrock Coffee’s Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Quality, and Sustainability.
Westrock officials said 61% of its current coffee and tea is responsibly sourced across 35 farming origins. The additional sourcing will be completed by 2025 through an initiative to build a global supplier assurance framework in partnership with the Committee on Sustainable Assessment (COSA) and the British Standards Institution (BSI). The program will audit its entire supplier network for compliance with Westrock Coffee’s Responsible Sourcing Policy.
Additionally, Westrock Coffee said it will deploy more personnel in key supply chains to quantify the social, environmental, and entrepreneurial impact of coffee and tea at origin.
“Westrock Coffee exemplifies how business, with a strong commitment and the right tools, can be a significant agent of positive change,” says COSA President Daniele Giovannucci. “COSA is pleased to expand our partnership and help push the needle on direct trade models, effective sustainability investment, and farmer income – to name a few. These efforts to drive transparency in the pursuit of more ethical and more sustainable supply chains not only provide new customer value, but also advance the coffee industry as a whole.”
“We are proud of the technical services provided to these farmers. The resulting 146% farm production growth was a direct byproduct of our on-the-ground understanding of what farmers and our supply chains needed to thrive,” Smith said. “Scaling our services and transparent supply chains allows us to address the current and future needs of our partnering farmers in a way that outsourcing our sustainability efforts cannot.”
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