What and why

The assessment aimed to gauge the level of maturity of each company regarding sustainability issues within the coffee supply chain. Companies were awarded higher scores if they demonstrated clear strategies encompassing various dimensions of sustainability, specific time bound goals, investments, and activities integrated into their supply chains, as well as continuous monitoring and public reporting on their sustainability objectives.

Scope and Focus

The categories selected are a reflection of the most pressing sustainability challenges in the coffee sector. Each component has been carefully unpacked and articulated with support of different thematic experts engaged with the CoffeeBarometer initiative. We looked into 4 categories:

1) Sustainability Strategy
2) Social Conditions & Inclusion
3) Environment
4) Sustainable Purchasing & Economic Conditions

Data used

To conduct the assessment, we scrutinized the contents of corporate annual or sustainability reports, as well as any accompanying documents or sets of public information directly linked to these reports. We focused on latest available documentation, with a cut-off date of May 1st 2023 to consider reports or publications as part of this year’s assessment.

Company Engagement

Following the completion of the assessments, we shared the individual evaluations with the respective companies and extended an invitation for them to provide feedback. Acknowledging the valuable contribution made by companies in engaging with our assessment, we are grateful for the proactive involvement and comments provided by the majority of roasters. Regrettably, we must note that Kraft-Heinz is the only company that did not respond to our invitations to participate in the evaluation process.

Limitations of current research

In acknowledging this is our first attempt to score the performance of each company, we recognize that there are different improvement areas we will consider for a next edition. This relates to a current bias towards a “more is better” approach in certain cases. For example, higher scores were assigned for more certified volume, increased engagement with MSIs, and a broader range of investments in specific thematic areas. We understand the shortcomings of this current scoring methodology and intend to evolve over time to better evaluate the quality and depth of these engagements and investments. In addition, for some companies it was difficult to properly assess whether certain investments were tied directly to the supply chain or even origins from which the company sourced. Compounded to that were companies that made coffee farming or community sustainability investments through their charitable or Foundation arms. Which may or may not have involved their supply chain or origins and/or may have been lumped in with completely different types of charitable investments. This is another shortcoming of this current assessment that we intend to evolve over time, which may unintentionally distort some results.

Download Full Methodology

If you want to learn more about the methodolgy, the list of indicators assessed and the scoring structure behind the results  check out the Coffee Brew Index Scoring Rubric

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