Sips: Corporate coffee news

by on January 7, 2011

Kraft’s Maxwell House coffee concentrate earns Rainforest Alliance seal. First of all, this product is a “premium roast frozen liquid coffee concentrate blend.” Blech. Second, once again only 30% of the beans are Rainforest Alliance certified, 70% mystery beans. Third, Kraft gets to boost its “green” image when 96% of the coffee they buy comes from uncertified sources. I don’t like to poo-poo any sort of sustainability effort, but this may leave a bad taste in many a mouth.

JM Smuckers, which acquired the coffee division of Procter & Gamble (Folgers, Millstone, Dunkin Donuts grocery store offerings) has been posting strong earnings, thanks to the blind loyalty people have for cheap, unsustainable coffee. It makes up 35% of the company’s sales and 50% of its profits.

Later this month, I’ll have further information on corporate coffee’s “sustainability” efforts. It’s not pretty.

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Revised on August 14, 2011

Posted in Coffee news and miscellany,Corporate coffee

CoffeeWriter January 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

That’s sad to say the least. It’s this kind of stuff that always makes me suspect about the “green” propaganda movement. The main problem is that something can get “certified”, yet consumers don’t even know what that certification entails. Seems more like a marketing ploy to me (just my two cents). Look forward to reading more about this topic later in the month. (Even if it will be disappointing!)

Cathy Carroll January 8, 2011 at 9:22 am

I agree with CoffeeWriter above. I am learning that when a company advertises its purported sustainable practices, a critical review must to applied to the details as Coffee and Conservation offer above. Thanks for the reminding us about misleading marketing.

Jack January 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

Great post! Unfortunately, these certifications obscure more than they reveal at times. I look forward to reading more about this later in the month.

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