Sustainability in the coffee sector is not a fixed state, but a permanent path.
The enhanced Tchibo coffee program
Over the past few years, we have further developed our coffee program with the aim of offering exclusively responsibly sourced coffee by 2027 - regardless of whether it's Feine Milde, Eduscho, Qbo, Cafissimo, Barista, or rarities. So far, we have relied on certifications and our Tchibo Joint Forces!® projects. However, this approach is no longer sufficient to meet the acute challenges and achieve a necessary, industry-wide change. With our enhanced coffee program, we want to reach all farmers from whom we source coffee in the future, including those who do not have certifications. In this way, we want to take responsibility in line with our share of global coffee trade and cultivation.
By 2027, we will only offer responsibly sourced coffee.
For us, responsibly sourced means a continuous transformation process towards sustainable cultivation. This transformation process includes for us:
Annual, independent analyses of supply chains to identify sustainability issues
Development of tailor-made programs to solve problems
Impact measurement of the programs
Sustainable cultivation means to us:
Responsible, socially acceptable, and environmentally friendly coffee cultivation, based on our Agrarpolicy
Increases in harvest yields and diversification of income sources beyond coffee cultivation
Resilience against climate change
To achieve our goal, we rely on 4 pillars:
local and global
The Tchibo coffee program in transition
Coffee is an agricultural product that currently faces serious challenges in its countries of origin: By 2050, the cultivation areas for coffee could be halved, while drought and dryness could lead to significant crop failures. The consequence for the farmers is an income that is too low, which exacerbates problems such as child labor and illegal deforestation. In addition, the use of environmentally harmful chemicals is increasing in order to compensate for crop failures or to combat pests. To meet these challenges and to be able to offer our customers high-quality and responsibly produced coffee in the long term, there is a great need for action.
*CIAT Study2021: Growing Coffee in the Face of Climate Change (coffeeandclimate.org)
Our previous approach
Twenty years ago, we started promoting sustainable and yield-increasing cultivation methods on coffee farms. Our approach so far has been:
Purchasing coffees that come from certified coffee farms (Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic)
Implementing farmer projects (Tchibo Joint Forces!®), in which sustainable coffee cultivation practices are taught
Collaborating with science and in multi-stakeholder initiatives to support the sustainable transformation of the coffee sector
What we have learned
In recent years, we have found that especially tailored programs that address specific problems, like our Tchibo Joint Forces!® projects, bring about positive changes. We have also noticed that farmers are more likely to accept training offers and projects if they are actively involved in their design. Based on these findings, we have changed our approach. Instead of preparing all farmers for certification, we now focus on the development of tailored programs that are developed together with the farmers and concentrate on tackling the biggest challenges.