Supermarket Chains Labour Conditions Question 3
EN: Is all the store brand coffee certified according to Fair Trade, Utz, Rainforest Alliance or similar systems?
NL: Is alle eigen merk koffie gecertificeerd volgens Max Havelaar, UTZ, Rainforest Alliance of gelijkwaardige systemen?
DE: Wurde der Kaffee der Eigenmarke zu 100% entsprechend Sozialstandards wie Fairtrade, Utz Certified oder Rainforest Alliance zertifiziert?
Regarding sustainability the NGO Fairfood indicates various ‘priority issues’ in the coffee sector. To address these issues, there are several certification schemes active in the market. The Tropical Commodities Coalition (TCC), where several Dutch NGO's are represented, compares these certification schemes that aim to improve the environmental and social conditions of coffee farmers from mainly developing countries.
Where Fair Trade has commonly been considered as the highest standard, rural development experts and scientists criticize the Fair Trade movement and advocate for the other standards like UTZ and Rainforest Alliance and even company standards like Nespresso AAA and Café by Starbucks.
After consulting experts from the Tropical Commodities Coalition, we have concluded that we may assume that all the active certification systems have their specific benefits for the environment and farmers, and it has clearly not been proven that one system benefits coffee farmers more than others systems. Additionally, all standard embody a public promise of more sustainable production, and can publicly be held accountable for this. Therefore, all the standards as mentioned by TCC are eligible to contribute to the 100% (practically for this question say at least 98%) ‘responsible’ certified coffee.
In the Netherlands, Albert Heijn shows ‘best practice’, with 100% UTZ certified coffee of its store brands.