- Albertsons, Kroger and Williams-Sonoma have made commitments to support sustainable coffee sourcing as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge from Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit that certifies fair trade products in North America, according to a press release.
- By mid-2020, Albertsons has pledged that 100% of its O Organics coffee will be certified sustainable using Fair Trade USA standards or their equivalent.
- Kroger, which already sources 100% of its Simple Truth coffees in accordance with Fair Trade standards, said it will continue to uphold its commitment as it adds new products and new coffee growers in the next few years.
From launching plastic reduction initiatives to introducing plant-based private label products, both Kroger and Albertsons have shown dedication to sustainability and transparency in a big way in 2019. Extending their commitments to fair trade coffee is a natural progression as these two supermarket chains seek more sustainable practices in their companies.
Sourcing and selling fair trade coffee isn’t a new concept. Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market and Aldi all offer a wide range of fair trade products. But customer interest is still growing, which will drive more demand for fair trade products beyond a limited assortment across food and beverage categories.
According to a recent survey from Fairtrade America, another organization that certifies and labels fair trade products, 76% of consumers would view a brand they already buy more favorably if it carried a fair trade label, and 64% would recommend fair trade products to a friend or colleague. Additionally, Nielsen found that 48% of U.S. shoppers would alter their buying habits to reduce their impact on the environment.
Among the largest supermarket chains, Ahold Delhaize also has responsible sourcing on its mind. Last week the grocery company announced its commitment to more transparent products and sustainable chemistry, which includes using certification programs like fair trade to ensure its coffee, tea and cocoa products meet their standards.
The goal of Fair Trade USA’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge, which also counts Target and other retailers among its participants, is to increase sales of fair trade certified coffee. Coffee sourced through fair trade standards gives farmers more opportunity and market access, while also providing more transparency to consumers about where their coffee comes from. To further educate consumers on fair trade, Fair Trade USA has launched a new campaign called Just One Cup.