Westrock Coffee Company has pledged to responsibly source 100 per cent of its coffee and tea by 2025.
This move supports the company’s foundational sustainability strategy and overarching commitment to purchase and process all of its products in a way that is fair to its producers, their employees, peers, and environment.
“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,” says Matt Smith, Westrock Coffee’s Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Quality, and Sustainability.
Currently, Westrock Coffee sources 61 per cent of its coffee and tea responsibly which comes from 35 farming origins.
The company says it plans to close this gap by building a global supplier assurance framework in partnership with the Committee on Sustainable Assessment (COSA) and the British Standards Institution (BSI).
Westrock Coffee plans for this program to audit its entire supplier network for compliance with its Responsible Sourcing Policy. The company also plans to deploy more personnel across 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 Daniele Giovannucci, COSA President. “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.”
Beyond this pledge, Westrock Coffee has proprietary platforms in eight origins that economically and environmentally support sustainable supply chains for 106,865 farmers. Westrock Coffee says programs like these are the cornerstones of its sustainability strategy, giving its customers ethical assurances on products.
“We are proud of the technical services provided to these farmers. The resulting 146 per cent farm production growth was a direct by-product of our on-the-ground understanding of what farmers and our supply chains needed to thrive,” says Matt Smith.
“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.”
Westrock Coffee began responsibly sourcing its products a decade ago when it established traceable and sustainable supply chains in East Africa. Through its platform, ‘Farmer Direct Verified’ the company says customers now have unparalleled insight into where their products are sourced from, with 50 distinct data points that create end-to-end transparency using a vertically integrated business model.
Communicating the realities of these supply chains helps brands make informed decisions, especially with reinvestments into sustainable farms, says Westrock Coffee.
“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,” says 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.”
Prior to Westrock Coffee’s acquisition of S&D Coffee and Tea, 90 per cent of the company’s green coffee purchases were Farmer Direct Verified or certified. In the past year, Westrock Coffee says its team converted more than 43 items to meet responsible sourcing standards, demonstrating their commitment to responsible business practices.
For more information, visit www.westrockcoffee.com