Advice and answers from the Dispatch team
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When we answer questions about impact, we believe it is important for us to define terminology, as “ethics” and “sustainability” can be defined and interpreted in many ways. This enables us to build consensus as a team, and those sharing data with us across our supply chain, as well as with you, our customers! When we make a coffee purchase or operating decision, we consider the impacts of these three spheres: Economic, Social and Environmental. This is the recommended lense for discussing impact and sustainability by the UN sustainable development goals, and Impact Management Program, a forum for building global consensus on how to measure, manage and report impacts.
Impact management in our company is an ongoing practice of measuring and improving our impacts, so that we can reduce the negative and increase the positive. We do this activity internally, tracking and considering impact across many spheres in our supply chain lifecycle From Coffee Purchasing and other suppliers partners to Employee Policies and Culture to packaging, supply and retail distribution.
We are working to make our impact measurements and improvement objectives public facing by 2021. In the meantime, we are applying for B Corp certification.
From a recent case study on the diversity of our supply chains that scanned comparable datasets from 22 of our coffee purchases between 2017 and 2020: > 42% of our coffees came from Organic certified co-ops > We are part of the WCR Checkoff program. For 61% of the coffees we purchased a percentage of each KG of coffee was donated towards World Coffee Research whose mission is to create a toolbox of coffee varieties, genetic resources and accompanying technologies and to disseminate them strategically and collaboratively in producing countries to alleviate constraints to the supply chain of high quality coffee. Our vision of responsible sourcing includes but is not limited to certifications. Certified coffees are part of developing a sustainable industry, but they are not the only solution. Being organic certified means that coffee farmers must use an agriculture system that produces food supporting biodiversity and enhancing soil health. They can only use approved substances and organic farming methods. All of the coffee we purchase applies the principles of organic farming, whether or not the coffee farmers are certified. Undergoing certification as a farm is a costly and long term process that many farmers struggling in cyclical poverty cannot access. For this reason, we support and encourage smallholder farmers who practice ecologically sustainable farming practices whether or not they are third-party certified, on their pathway to obtaining organic certification, or already certified. Our purchasing decisions are influenced by many factors, not exclusively whether a farm is certified organic or not.
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