Pernod Ricard-owned coffee liqueur brand Kahlúa has unveiled a new sustainable development programme with a goal to source 100% of its coffee sustainably by 2022.
The newly launched initiative strives to have a meaningful environmental and socio-economic impact on the lives of Mexican coffee farmers and their families.
Billy King, director of sustainable development, Kahlúa, said: “At Kahlúa, we believe that the quality and character of our product comes from the land where the ingredients are grown, so we are committed to nurturing that terroir and its biodiversity.
“With this programme, we have the opportunity to engage with communities we rely on for our ingredients and work together to ensure a strong and more sustainable future for us all.”
The brand will collaborate with the local NGO Fondo Para La Paz and the indigenous coffee communities in Veracruz.
The Kahlúa Sustainable Development programme is divided into three areas: Environment, Social and Economic. Each area represents one of the main challenges and aspects of the problem.
To begin to address the many issues currently faced by coffee farmers, Kahlúa has identified the need to provide education and training in sustainable agriculture techniques, practices and methods using local agroecological experts.
The main goal with the training is to achieve better forest management, improve soil fertility and restore and protect the biodiversity required for healthy crops to thrive.
Social cohesion, gender equality and education level within the coffee growing communities is another key focus for the programme.
Kahlúa applies what’s called a ‘participatory planning process’ according to the Fondo para la Paz method for sustainable development, an empowerment process that allows people to freely choose their collective goals and how to reach them.
All community members are invited to learn more about different tools for problem solving, solution orientation and collaboration within the communities.
Another key focus under the social pillar is attending to basic needs within the communities, such as access to clean water and sanitation. This includes concrete actions such as building water tanks to collect and store clean rainwater near their houses and installing dry toilets to improve health and sanitation.
In order to help coffee farmers create a viable business model, Kahlúa provides tools and methods needed to increase efficiency, sustainability and yields.
The brand also commits to pay all farmers a premium price for the coffee they produce. By training the farmers in coffee management, crop diversification and soil preservation as well as more concrete actions like building a network of coffee nurseries to replace aged and diseased plants, the goal is to ensure a long-term increase in yields without harming the environment.
Malin Stålnacke, global sustainability manager, Kahlúa, said: “The main purpose of the programme is to create a better, fairer and more sustainable livelihood through coffee, and doing so by involving the local community.
“Because in the end of the day we believe the only way to actually change things for the better is to have people to be a part of the journey – believing in it and co-creating it.”