Sara Lee announced it plans to double the amount of sustainable coffee used in its brands to 20,000 tons, a move the company says will make it the market leader in this area.
Sara Lee's coffee brands include the popular Senseo single serve coffee pods. According to published reports Sara Lee' focus on sustainable coffee sourcing, will account for five percent of its total worldwide coffee procurement.
A driving force behind the move is the increased demand for certified sustainable products in markets like Denmark and the Netherlands. A Sara Lee spokesman estimated 25-30 percent of their coffee sold in those two markets is from sustainable sources.
Northern European markets in particular had a much stronger demand for Sara Lee's sustainable coffee brands. The United States has a much larger and more diverse coffee market and as a result did not have as strong a demand for Sara re Lee sustainable coffee products.
Sara Lee coffee brands include Douwe Egberts (Senseo), Merrild, Maison du Cafe and Marcilla.
Sara Lee coffee and tea CEO, Frank van Oers said his company's move is vital in safeguarding sustainable supply chains for his company and the coffee industry as a whole.
The company has been working through the UTZ global coffee certification program and says its purchases of coffee through the program have increased eight times since 2004 when it bought 2,500 tons of UTZ certified coffee. UTZ is a certification used by Wal-Mart as well as other major retailers.
UTZ insures strict social and environmental criteria are being met by participating coffee farms and co-ops. In return the program provides coffee growers with knowledge of improved agricultural techniques and the global marketplace insuring they get better prices for their coffee.Sara Lee announced it plans to double the amount of sustainable coffee used in its brands to 20,000 tons, a move the company says will make it the market leader in this area.