What is Ethical coffee?

Green coffee beans
More and more we see the use of the word ethical to describe not just individual and corporate behaviour but also raw materials right through to final products. Whilst this is not a new concept, savvy consumers are becoming more concerned about factors like the environment, sustainability and fairness across the supply chain, making this a hot topic in the coffee world.

Ethical coffee often refers to coffee that has been grown and produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way and where farmers and everyone in the supply chain are treated and paid fairly. Whilst the definition is very clear cut, measuring, monitoring and sustaining an ethical status is harder to achieve. Numerous certifications exist when it comes to coffee, that help consumers identify the product as ethical including Fairtrade, UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, Organic Certified to name a few, however each one of these comes with its limitations including poor monitoring and costly certification process. This should not be the sole factor used in determining whether the coffee is ethical. All consumers can play a part in questioning roasters about the source of their green beans, the price they paid for these beans, the farming practices used by the growers and the roasters own interests and investments in supporting coffee farmers. Based on these enquiries consumers can make an informed decision and vote via their wallets.

We all have a role to play to ensure that the ethical coffee we are buying is in fact just that and not just marketing hype.   

At Acuratore, the goal of selling ethical coffee to ensure that our buying patterns have a positive and measurable impact not just on our own taste buds, but the farmers, workers and environment is key to the selection of roasters that we partner with. Understanding that the current certification processes are imperfect, we made our own enquiries and were satisfied that our specialty coffee roasters share our passion for making an impact on coffee farmers and live this ethos via their sourcing decisions.