Caribou Coffee promises 100% sustainable coffee by 2011
Caribou Coffee may be a distant second in coffee production in the nation, but the Minneapolis-based company plans to be first when it comes to ethically grown beans. But it depends on how you look at it.
Caribou announced today that it will be the first major U.S. coffeehouse to sell 100 percent sustainable coffee. They plan to do so by the end of 2011and are following Rainforest Alliance certification policies. About 85 percent of Caribou's coffee purchases this year will be Rainforest Alliance certified.
The certification ensures that coffee farms protect the environment and wildlife, provide decent wages and working conditions to workers, and process beans responsibly.
"We're helping ensure that our customers get premium coffee and our sourcing partners benefit environmentally, socially, and economically," says Chad Trewick, Caribou's senior director of coffee and tea.
Caribou beats out their top competitor, Starbucks, for the distinction. Starbucks plans to be 100 percent sustainable by 2015 and now buys 75 percent of its coffee from sustainable sources.
But if we're talking pounds of sustainable coffee purchased, Starbucks crushes Caribou already. In 2008, Starbucks bought 295 million pounds of coffee from sustainable farms. This year, Caribou will buy 17 million pounds of sustainable coffee. On the flip side, that also means Starbucks bought a whole lot more unsustainable coffee too, totaling 90 million pounds.
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