Walmart Meets Coffee Sustainability Goal Ahead of Plan

In 2017, Walmart made a commitment to more sustainably source the private brand coffee sold in Walmart stores in the U.S. by 2020. As of late last week – one year early – Walmart announced that all coffee sourced for Walmart U.S. private brands is certified sustainable through third-party groups Fair TradeRainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ.

Walmarts mission to create a certified sustainable coffee supply won’t stop there. They are working with suppliers to increase traceability within private brands. That includes working with one of their coffee suppliers, Westrock Coffee, to offer visibility into the supply chain, all the way back to the coffee farmers at origin.

Walmart couldn’t have achieved their certified sustainable coffee goal and advances in transparency without the help of partners, such as Conservation International (CI). When they set the goal to source more sustainable coffee, they became the first major North American retailer to join CI’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The Challenge is a collaborative effort of companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and others that aims to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee across the globe.

“This is an important milestone for Walmart, its customers, and the entire coffee sector,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “Having a retailer like Walmart transition its U.S. private brand coffee to certified sustainable sources will help push the entire sector towards greater sustainability. That’s good news for nature and people. It’s also a great opportunity to engage consumers in the role nature plays in providing us with the things we love.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.