Nearly 9,000 miles apart, Rwanda and Mexico are the first countries to join the Sustainable Coffee Challenge — which aims to increase the demand for sustainable coffee. Representatives from both countries joined with Conservation International (CI) at European Development Days to announce their partnership in the challenge.
CI launched the challenge back in December at the U.N. climate negotiations in Paris. It was intended as a call-to-action for the sector to make coffee the world’s first entirely sustainable agricultural product. Starbucks came aboard as the first partner. A total of 18 partners signed on by the time the challenge launched at COP21. The number is now up to 48, including the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), Ceres, Fairtrade America and Keurig Green Mountain.
The challenge brings partners together from the coffee industry, conservation, agricultural development and governments to increase the demand for sustainable coffee. While almost half of the global coffee supply is produced according to a sustainability standard, only 12 percent is sold in the market as sustainable coffee. The partners will create commitments for the various parts of the coffee sector.