Caribou Coffee Commits to 100% Rainforest Alliance Certification

Caribou Coffee, the second-largest gourmet coffeehouse operator in the US, said 100% of its coffees will be certified by the Rainforest Alliance by the end of 2011.

Rainforest Alliance certification is managed by the Sustainable
Agriculture Network (SAN)–a coalition of independent, nonprofit
conservation groups. The certification is built on three pillars of
sustainability–environmental, social and economic–and works by setting
standards to guide growers and farm operations of all sizes to
sustainable agriculture practices.

Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee farms ensure that the environment
and wildlife are protected; workers receive decent wages and improved
working and living conditions; workers and their families have access to
education, medical care and clean water; and coffee is harvested and
processed responsibly. Farms that comply with certification criteria are
awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal of approval.

Caribou Coffee said currently almost all of its blends are at least 30%
Rainforest Alliance Certified and more than 85% of the company’s overall
coffee purchases in 2010 will be Rainforest Alliance Certified,
totaling around 17 million pounds.

“Caribou Coffee’s tremendous commitment to sourcing 100 percent of their coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms will benefit the lives of thousands of farmers, farm workers and their families,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “It will also help protect waterways and wildlife, conserve fragile ecosystems, and promote soil health. We hope other retailers will see Caribou’s example and follow suit.”

As a part of this commitment, Caribou Coffee will work with its current growers to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification before sourcing new partners, according to Chad Trewick, senior director of coffee and tea for Caribou.

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