Although a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea share many similarities, their production is quite different.The majority of the world’s coffee is grown on small farms, by farmers who sell only a small number of bags of coffee annually, while most of the world’s tea is produced by millions of hired workers tending to tea shrubs on large plantations. For both, earning a decent income can be difficult. The two crops are vulnerable to a changing climate, where erratic droughts and rainfall can lead to lower yields. At times this leads to worker exploitation and poor living conditions in the sector.

A way of improving the sector is the development of good agricultural practices that support the reduced use of pesticides and fertilizers, which usually result in higher yields leading to better incomes. Ahold Delhaize brands are aiming towards sourcing 100% sustainably certified own brand coffee and tea products, complying with either UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade Standards. These standards are focused on improving yields, increasing farmer incomes and decreasing the risk of climate change and socials risks, such as child labor.

We work closely with our own trade channel, the Ahold Delhaize Coffee Company, to source 100% certified coffee and subsequently produces coffee for a number of our own-brand coffee product lines. This will ensure that all the own brand coffee in our supply chains comes from well managed farms and plantations with better social and environmental conditions and we are working towards providing the same guarantee for our certified tea.