Peet’s Coffee becomes 100% responsibly sourced company

Peet’s Coffee becomes 100% responsibly sourced company

June 8 - 2022

Coffee Geography Magazine

Peet's Coffee confirms that 100% of Peet's Coffee purchases are Responsibly Sourced per Enveritas standards. Enveritas, an independent third-party global non-profit, tracks social, economic and agricultural impact across multiple crops and industries. 

The verification process relies upon comprehensive farm audits conducted by regional specialists trained in coffee production to help identify a variety of risks including deforestation, child labor and other damaging social and environmental conditions. 

It also holds Peet's responsible for supporting its coffee-growing communities through community impact investments. As research cites coffee as a crop significantly threatened by climate change*, Enveritas's data-based system measures conditions at the point of origin to identify farmers and communities most in need of agronomic and other assistance, and tracks progress of impact projects to ensure community support is effective.

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"This responsible sourcing achievement is the result of a multi-year data collection process to verify the conditions and practices of the more than 59,000, mostly small coffee farms in 24 regions around the world who supply coffee beans for Peet's Coffee," said Doug Welsh, Vice President and Roastmaster.

Doug Welsh, vice president and roastmaster for Peet's Coffee

Doug Welsh, Vice President and Roastmaster

In 2016 Peet's Coffee began working with Enveritas because the non-profit offers a different way of addressing sustainability - an approach where producers access free verification of their practices, while encouraging a deeper understanding and commitment to solving the most challenging sustainability issues in their local community. 

Working collaboratively, Peet's and Enveritas designed a custom coffee-specific verification program that uses, among other techniques, artificial intelligence (AI) and geo-spatial technology to gather independent, data-rich reports of conditions on coffee farms. These conditions are verified against 30 sustainability standards set by Enveritas, which has performed more than 20,000 annual audits across Peet's coffee supply chain. 

Peet's shares the results of these audits with its suppliers and, if issues are identified, collaborates with importers, governments, non-profits, competitors and, most importantly, its farmer partners to develop impact projects tailored to the needs of farmers and their communities. Peet's currently operates 39 social and environmental impact programs in 24 regions.

"Coffee is more than a source of energy or enjoyment for the millions of people worldwide who farm coffee for their livelihood, as a family legacy and way of life," said Welsh. "At Peet's, responsible sourcing requires that we identify challenges, invest in projects that improve lives, and then measure that progress. The reach of this accomplishment – applying consistent sustainability standards to all the coffee we roast – is just the beginning. If we can achieve this across our global system at Peet's, other coffee roasters can as well. Our collaborative approach will help advance progress and create more tailored, relevant support for coffee farmers and their home communities."

Over several decades, Peet's Coffee's sourcing experts, led by Welsh, have worked to better understand challenging social and environmental conditions on coffee farms and the impact on smallholder farmers, who produce more than 60% of the world's coffee. Peet's Coffee has established viable sourcing systems and partnerships with highly credible organizations including World Coffee Research, TechnoServe and Enveritas to inform the company's practices and achieve greater reach in improving coffee production.

"Many coffee companies are satisfied with paying for a label that says their coffee is certified, but few companies are actually tracking that data to determine opportunities for change and real progress," said David Browning, CEO of Enveritas. "Peet's Coffee came to us several years ago with the challenge to customize a data collection system to track actual practices in the regions where they source coffee beans. The company wanted to know with certainty how Peet's coffee is grown and then help improve conditions within each community through targeted projects. The verification audits we perform are rigorous, and the data details actual practices in place for accuracy and year-over-year analysis. It is a model that will help individual producers and the industry evolve to better address climate change and other associated, complex challenges."

Accelerating Peet's Coffee's pioneering collaboration with Enveritas, global partner, JDE Peet's recently announced it will increase its responsibly sourced coffee from 30% to 80% by the end of 2022. 

When Alfred Peet founded Peet's Coffee® in Berkeley, California in 1966, he introduced an artisan movement creating the U.S. specialty coffee industry. Considered the "Big Bang of coffee," Peet's legacy – sourcing the world's best beans, artisan roasting for rich, premium taste and crafting beverages by hand – lives on today in every cup, whether ordered online, selected at a grocery store then brewed at home or served in any one of over 270 Peet's Coffee locations in the U.S and China.