By Ryan Isabell, Senior Buying Manager, Coffee & Cocoa
In 2017, we made a commitment to more sustainably source the private brand coffee found in Walmart stores in the U.S. by 2020. As of today – one year early – we’re proud to announce that all coffee sourced for Walmart U.S. private brands is certified sustainable through third-party groups Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ.
Sustainability is at the heart of our ongoing mission to do right by people across the Walmart supply chain and across the planet. When our customers enjoy the aroma of our private brand coffee, we also want to ensure we’re meeting their expectations on quality and sourcing based on best-in-class, certified industry standards – all while delivering on everyday low prices. Our customers can now be certain that the coffee they’re buying from us was grown with care, by farmers working to build sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities.
And our mission to create a certified sustainable coffee supply won’t stop there. We’re working with suppliers to increase traceability within our private brands. That includes working with one of our coffee suppliers, Westrock Coffee, to offer visibility into their supply chain, all the way back to the coffee farmers at origin. It’s all part of a larger effort to create more transparency so customers can feel good about the items they purchase at our stores.
We couldn’t have achieved our certified sustainable coffee goal and advances in transparency without the help of partners, such as Conservation International (CI). When we set our goal to source more sustainable coffee, we 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.”
We’re motivated by our progress on offering certified sustainable private brand coffee to our customers. Our journey doesn’t end here, and we’re excited to continue to share what’s brewing with all of you.