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Strauss Coffee turns equality into equity

From the May 2017 issue.

Strauss Coffee’s Tomer Harpaz sees the global coffee producer’s recent commitment to several women-owned coffee farms as a small, albeit necessary, step toward global coffee sustainability.

Tomer Harpaz1

Although global coffee producer Strauss Coffee recently announced a significant collaboration with and dedication to women-owned coffee farms and cooperatives, CEO Tomer Harpaz takes pains to clarify that the initiative is only one part of a greater goal toward global coffee sustainability.

The Amsterdam-based company has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, in line with the goals of its parent company Strauss Group. For Strauss Coffee, that means a focus on sustainability in the global coffee industry and ensuring that its millions of smallholder farms around the world can continue to supply the steady growth in demand.

For the past 10 years, Strauss Coffee has worked with the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), a sustainability platform driving commitment to a thriving and sustainable global coffee industry via efforts in workers’ conditions, social and economic development and more. Through the partnership and in pursuit of its greater sustainability goal, Strauss Coffee has invested in environmental projects aimed at reducing negative industrial impacts, such as water consumption and pollution.

Under the greater sustainability header, GCP qualifies a number of causes and areas of necessary change, including climate change, water, gender, children’s rights, trade and more.

“As leaders in the industry, we need to take this seriously,” says Harpaz, who’s been largely involved in strategy, innovation and business development in his seven years with Strauss.

“We have the obligation and responsibility to think differently and challenge everything as a way to constantly improve.”

For Strauss Coffee, one of those steps toward not only contributing to the industry’s greater sustainability, but also improving and challenging the way things are done, is to invest directly in its growers, specifically women.

In March, the billion-dollar coffee company announced a six-project program dedicated to women-owned coffee farms around the world.

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