Coffee with Milk, Sugar and Sustainability
Today on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2021, most people will wake up and the first thing they will do is make a cup of coffee without a second thought about where it came from. Yes, it comes from a supermarket or coffee shop but more importantly where in the world was the coffee fruit grown, who was the farmer that harvested it and how long was the journey to get it into that cup? We at Barrie House believe it is important to share the knowledge of the complex and labored process it takes to produce what can seem like a simple, delicious, hot cup of coffee.
In simplistic terms, sustainable coffee refers to coffee that is grown, processed, and sold in a way that supports the environment in which it is grown and supports the livelihood of the people who produce it. The world’s coffee resources are limited, and therefore precious, making sustainability critical to the industry. If the growing environment is destroyed and if the people who produce the coffee can no longer afford to do so, then think about where that could leave the coffee industry could be in jeopardy.
Even at a simplified level, the coffee production process is lengthy and complex. Within each step of this production process there is an impact on the environment and the people who are part of it. There are many ways in which companies can make an effort to focus on sustainability and to make a commitment to going green. At Barrie House, our key focus areas include:
- Market Leading Corporate Governance: At Barrie House, we ensure market-leading corporate governance by committing to ethical standards, which serves as a basis for our position on sustainability.
- Protecting Health and Safety of all Stakeholders: We develop and implement rigorous workplace safety and health programs and guidelines.
- Reducing Environmental Impacts: We are sure to comply with regulations and the implementation of operational standards, while continuously improving the environmental performance of operations. We establish select goals and track progress throughout the coffee-to-consumer journey.
- Managing Coffee Industry Risks: We develop close relationships with farms and participate in the process from fruit to bean.
- Respecting Human Rights: Promoting human rights not only fosters a stable and productive business environment, but more importantly it is the right thing to do. At Barrie House, we start within our organization and as well as reach out to support women-owned farms and other programs that drives awareness of gender equality, at all levels, in the coffee industry.
- Gender Equity: Gender equity is the key to healthy families, resilient farming communities and strong supply chains. As the supply chains begin to feel the impact of the pandemic, and resources are prioritized to respond to the global emergency, gender equity becomes even more of a priority.
- Security & Safeguarding of Company Personnel and Property: Security is a fundamental need shared by individuals, communities, and businesses. Safeguarding company personnel and property is critical, especially when it is for products that can help better the coffee industry for future generations.
- Social Responsibility: It is important to not only support the coffee industry but also the local communities where companies operate, either close to home or at origin. Companies big or small can make big strides towards getting things done, instead of just worrying about the bottom line.
The next time you go to grab a cup of coffee, consider its origin and farming method. Think about making a sustainable choice and you will find that the coffee tastes that much more enjoyable knowing you are making a choice for good.