SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF COFFEE

Raw material goals

125 million people worldwide depend on coffee production. We are committed to ensuring the coffee we sell is sourced from sustainable sources and are working with the Rainforest Alliance and the Fairtrade Foundation to certify our range.

Coffee is one of the world's most traded commodities and around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods.  Global demand for coffee continues to grow steadily, especially in Europe. However, what coffee farmers earn from selling coffee in parts of South America and Africa is frequently still not high enough to secure their livelihoods. On the plantations, coffee beans are often picked by seasonal workers who may be subjected to forced labour and poor working conditions. Coffee cultivation can also have a negative impact on the environment, due to high water consumption or deforestation.

As a major retailer we are aware of our responsibility to ensure that the coffee we sell is sourced in a sustainable manner that improves working conditions and tackles wider social challenges.

Our Commitment

We are committed to sourcing all of our roast and ground coffee from Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance certified sustainable sources, where technically possible.

Supporting Fairtrade

It is estimated that ~80% of coffee is produced by 25 million smallholders, many of whom depend on coffee production for their livelihoods. Price volatility due to fluctuations in coffee production in response to weather conditions, disease and other factors, result in significant consequences for those that rely on coffee production for their livelihoods. Our commitment to certified coffee, such as Fairtrade, enables small-holder producers to have a guaranteed price that covers the cost of production. The Fairtrade Minimum Price acts as a safety net when market prices fall below a living income. Alongside, the minimum price paid for certified coffee, Fairtrade Premiums support farmers enhance productivity of production and the quality of the coffee they produce, for example by investing in processing facilities and community projects.

Strengthening coffee cultivation for smallholder farmers in Bolivia

Coffee

Between 2016 and 2019, Lidl were involved, along with the Fairtrade organisation and the producers’ network CLAC, in a training project for smallholder farmers in Bolivia. This programme enabled the members of a total of eight coffee cooperatives to improve their knowledge and technical skills in coffee cultivation, which lead to improvements of both plant yield and soil health. The project reached a total of 300 families and is considered an example of best practice for supporting with the impacts of climate change.

SUPPORTING SMALLHOLDER FARMERS AND WOMEN IN GUATEMALA

Lidl has launched a sustainability initiative in the coffee growing region of Guatemala, alongside the UTZ sustainability program and CARE, an international development organisation. The Guatemala Project was initiated to strengthen the role of women within the coffee industry, as well as promoting productive and sustainable coffee cultivation, working with the smallholder cooperative Agrícola Integral Acatenango. As part of this project, coffee farmers are trained in sustainable farming and processing methods, which enables them to achieve greater added-value for high-quality coffee in the long term.  

Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing