Are JDE Peet’s coffee beans really grown sustainably? The company is not really sure
By Irene van den Berg, Manon Stravens, | 18 January, 2023
JDE Peet’s, parent company of the Dutch Douwe Egberts firm, wants 100 percent of its coffee to be sustainably grown by 2025. But it doesn’t know exactly from which farmers its beans are coming. It buys then from intermediairies, not from the farmers themselves. And the intermediary firms simply buy beans they can get at a good price. “Coffee is coffee, right?”
To be labeled ‘sustainably grown’ or ‘responsibly sourced’, the cultivation of coffee beans should contribute to “farmer welfare, human equality and land sustainability,” Douwe Egberts writes on its website. The Investigative Desk traveled to Indonesia to investigate those ambitions and found a long and confusing coffee supply chain. Guarantees about the origin of a coffee bean are unrealistic. Meanwhile, farmers live in uncertainty because they depend on volatile prices and unreliable middlemen.
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