Coffee

We take coffee seriously and we think that only the best quality is good enough for our guests

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Sustainable sourcing of coffee

We take coffee seriously and we think that only the best quality is good enough for our guests. Espresso House has decided to only serve Specialty Coffee from selected farms and cooperatives. Only 5% of all coffee in the world qualifies as Specialty Coffee, as it has to reach at least 80 points on a scale from 0-100 according to SCA cupping standards.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy a good cup of coffee both today and in the future. To serve not only the best coffee but also a coffee that has been sustainably produced is something we strive for. To be a part of a sustainable coffee future it is important for us to maintain good relationship with our farmers. We believe that relationship and cooperation is the way to transparency and sustainability in the supply chain of coffee. Therefore we visit each farm or cooperative regularly where we show our support and commitment. In 2018, Espresso House Group also implemented a third-party verification of our coffee with the aim to carry out farm practice assessments. With these assessments we are able to identify areas of improvements to be able to provide continuous support for sustainable coffee sourcing.

Our three pillars of sustainable coffee sourcing

Social

No Child labor
No forced labor
Minimum wage respected
No discrimination
Clean water
Decent housing
Worker Rights and benefits
Freedom of association
Written contracts
Occupational health and safety

Environmental

No deforestation
No pollution
Biodiversity protection
Soil conservation
Water conservation
Energy conservation
No GMOs
No banned pesticides
Safe chemical handling
Pest and disease management

Economic

Above the poverty line
Transparent pricing
Ethical business practices
No forced land evictions
Sustainable production
Quality improvement
Traceability
Access to training
Access to finance
Records kept

We take responsibility – from bean to cup

Many of the worlds smallholder coffee farmers are today excluded from high-value, sustainability markets. This exclusion is not necessarily because their practices wouldn’t meet sustainability standards, but because the economics of verifying their activities are more challenging. These farms are smaller, they are not organized into groups, their supply isn’t aggregated consistently, and they live in harder to reach places. In 2018, Espresso House Group implemented a third-party verification of our coffee with the aim to carry out farm practice assessments where we can identify areas of improvements. By moving to third-party verifications, we believe that the audits will be more effective and it also creates improved transparency for all. We have chosen to work with Enveritas, a non-profit NGO whose mission is to help all coffee farmers participate in globally sustainable coffee industry. Enveritas offers a different way of addressing sustainability – an approach that shines a light on what producers are doing well and that encourages deeper understanding and commitment to solving the most challenging sustainability issues.

The Enveritas approach

Enveritas have developed a new methodology for conducting farm and processor-level assessments, adapted for a wide range of producer types and tailored to local conditions. Enveritas take a statistically robust approach to sample and data quality monitoring in order to offer assurance and insights with high levels of confidence. Interviews and observations on site are conducted with the farmers in the different places we source coffee from. The field assessments are evaluated against the standards, which cover three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic.

The verifications

In 2018, we completed verification assessments at smallholder farmers as well as large coffee estates in Brazil and Guatemala. The verifications represented 20% of our total purchase of green coffee. We are happy to see that the assessments showed 100 % compliance with all minimum requirements within the three pillars. In 2019 the assessments continue, and this time it will also include our coffee producers in Ethiopia and Colombia.

Direct Trade

Espresso House highly values close relationships and cooperation to support a sustainable coffee future for our farmers. We believe in the Direct Trade model, which means to buy the coffee directly from the farmer or cooperative to make sure that the business model is sustainable for everyone involved. Direct Trade facilitates a mutually beneficial trade through the creation of a good relationship with the farmers. At Espresso House we visit each farm or producer group regularly to provide feedback for an improved opportunity for growth. We truly believe that is the best way to buy coffee. We offer Single Estate or Single Origin coffee where the coffee comes from a specific farm or region to increase the traceability for our guests.

Organic Coffee

At Espresso House you will always find an organic selection to choose from. If you buy our coffee at a grocery store you will have the chance to try our Organic Brew. If you are in one of our coffee shops you should try the seasonal Special Brew. This is limited edition coffee that varies over the year, we do this to help promote different farmers around the world. Our Special Brew is always organic.

Coffee Community Support

Our long-term relationships with our coffee farmers let us work closely together for a sustainable coffee future. This also enables us to help with coffee farmer community projects. In 2018 we launched our first Anniversary Brew Coffee. A limited edition of organic Specialty Coffee from the coffee collective ASOCASEL, where many small coffee farmers have joined to grow coffee in southern Peru. Every cup and bag sold of our Anniversary Brew coffee contributed to a school project for the coffee farmers’ children. We donated a school bus and we also contributed to renovate the school canteen so that they can have a proper place to enjoy their lunch while at the school. We contributed in total with US$ 20 000.

In 2019 we support our Jimma coffee producer Ibrahim Hussein in Ethiopia and help him with funding to support the construction of a local medical clinic that will benefit over 2500 people. By contributing locally in the areas where we source our coffee, we believe we can have a positive impact on the communities in which the farmers and their families live.