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06/06/2022

Peet’s Coffee hits responsible sourcing milestone

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Peet's Coffee confirms that 100% of coffee purchases are responsibly sourced per Enveritas standards.

Peet’s Coffee is independently verified as reaching a major goal in its sourcing operations.

The omnichannel coffee retailer is confirming that 100% of its purchases are responsibly sourced per the standards of Enveritas, an independent third-party global non-profit that tracks social, economic and agricultural impact across multiple crops and industries. The verification process relies upon farm audits conducted by regional specialists trained in coffee production to help identify a variety of risks including deforestation, child labor, and other damaging social and environmental conditions.

The Enveritas certification also holds Peet's responsible for supporting its coffee-growing communities through community impact investments. Enveritas's data-based system measures conditions at the point of origin to identify farmers and communities in need of agronomic and other assistance, and tracks progress of impact projects to ensure community support is effective.

According to Peet’s, this responsible sourcing achievement is the result of a multi-year data collection process to verify the conditions and practices of the more than 59,000, mostly small coffee farms in 24 regions around the world who supply coffee beans for the company.

In 2016 Peet's Coffee began working with Enveritas to design a custom coffee-specific verification program that uses, among other techniques, artificial intelligence (AI) and geo-spatial technology to gather independent, data-based reports of conditions on coffee farms. These conditions are verified against 30 sustainability standards set by Enveritas, which has performed more than 20,000 annual audits across Peet's coffee supply chain.

Peet's shares the results of these audits with its suppliers and, if issues are identified, collaborates with importers, governments, non-profits, competitors and, most importantly, its farmer partners to develop impact projects tailored to the needs of farmers and their communities. Peet's currently operates 39 social and environmental impact programs in 24 regions.

Ethical sourcing is becoming a big concern in the coffee industry. In 2020, chief Peet’s rival Starbucks launcheda new digital traceability tool that gives customers a virtual view into where their coffee beans come from.

"Coffee is more than a source of energy or enjoyment for the millions of people worldwide who farm coffee for their livelihood, as a family legacy and way of life," said Doug Welsh, Peet’s VP and roastmaster. "At Peet's, responsible sourcing requires that we identify challenges, invest in projects that improve lives, and then measure that progress. The reach of this accomplishment – applying consistent sustainability standards to all the coffee we roast – is just the beginning. If we can achieve this across our global system at Peet's, other coffee roasters can as well. Our collaborative approach will help advance progress and create more tailored, relevant support for coffee farmers and their home communities."

"Many coffee companies are satisfied with paying for a label that says their coffee is certified, but few companies are actually tracking that data to determine opportunities for change and real progress," said David Browning, CEO of Enveritas. "Peet's Coffee came to us several years ago with the challenge to customize a data collection system to track actual practices in the regions where they source coffee beans. The company wanted to know with certainty how Peet's coffee is grown and then help improve conditions within each community through targeted projects. The verification audits we perform are rigorous, and the data details actual practices in place for accuracy and year-over-year analysis. It is a model that will help individual producers and the industry evolve to better address climate change and other associated, complex challenges."

For more information about Peet's verification process and sourcing programs, visit: www.peets.com/impact.

Peet’s Coffee operates over 270 locations in the U.S and China.