2.1.2019 Article

In 2006, Paulig launched its first sustainability certified Mundo coffees. During that time, we started to consider the meaning of sustainability more broadly in our operations. Through the years, we have been committed to sustainable development and we have made countless choices promoting human rights and the well-being of the environment. Now, my great dream will come true: all of our coffee will be sourced from verified sustainable sources. 

In my job, I have visited many coffee farms and worked in Brazil from 2007 to 2008. I know what sustainability means in practice. It is dialogue, continuous cooperation and respect for others; all parties in the value chain must be doing well and receive sufficient financial compensation for their work so that the environment also does well. A bright and fair coffee world is the objective. This makes my every working day significant. 

At the start of 2019, my great dream will come true when all of our coffee will be sourced from verified sustainable sources. Personally, this is incredibly important to me. Today, sustainability is seamlessly intertwined in our company’s business strategy. It is taken into account in all of our sourcing processes and is an important value for many. Throughout the years at Paulig, we have developed sourcing policies and also been able to make a change in practical policies and better the lives of numerous farmers. We believe in the power of cooperation and, accordingly, have selected sourcing partners whose values and ideology match with ours. 

Even though we are reaching an important milestone in our sustainability work, the world is far from complete and will never be. The work continues. We are committed to continuous improvement, and there is a lot to improve in this respect.  

So what will happen next? When it comes to sourcing, I believe that certificates and standards will develop even more. I also believe that through our partnership programmes we will be working in a much more tailored fashion. One way of acting does not simply suit everyone and concerns and needs vary between countries. However, worthwhile coffee farming is at the heart of our sustainability work in countries of origin. Today, our carbon and water footprints are very current topics globally. We are also committed to ensuring that, by 2025, our coffee packages are made solely of renewable and plant-based raw materials.  

Coffee for future generations as well 

Of course, the future of coffee and sustainable development worry me sometimes as well. For instance, climate change is a real danger to the future availability of coffee. It has been estimated that by 2050 less than half of the currently available arable land suitable for farming Arabica coffee plants will remain. Fortunately, there is still a lot we can do. However, this relies on genuine and long-term cooperation throughout the entire “from bean to cup” value chain and between all actors, such as, farmers, roasteries, coffee industry research and public authority organisations, countries and NGOs. All of us in the value chain most definitely have the desire to work for a bright future for coffee. 

At Paulig, we believe that quality and great flavour can only be ensured through sustainable action. Personally, I believe it is only these factors that ensure an enjoyable coffee moment. How about you? 

Fact box

  • Katariina Aho, Supply Chain Director, Paulig Coffee 
  • Years working at Paulig: 26 years 
  • Has worked in coffee sourcing since 2006 
  • Lived in Brazil for a year (2007–2008) and visited several hundred coffee farms 
  • A passionate connoisseur of quality coffee

Katariina Aho
Director, Sourcing and Hedging, Raw and Packaging material