A recent survey* of over 2,000 UK coffee drinkers carried out by World Coffee Portal in partnership with UK Coffee Week caught our eye.
Latte, cappuccino and Americano were cited as the top three favourite beverages ahead of flat whites, filter coffee and blended iced coffee. Also, 21% of those questioned said they drink four or more cups of coffee per day and 23% visit a coffee shop two to three times each week.
These are interesting statistics on our collective love of coffee in the UK.
However, the standout percentages were reserved for the provenance of the coffee we consume: a whopping 69% of those surveyed indicated that sustainability of the coffee supply was an important consideration for consumers, and 71% said fair wages and working conditions for coffee farmers were equally important.
Then came the gap between those well-intentioned consumers and the reality: only 19% claimed to know the origin of the coffee they drink!
When asked what the coffee industry should do to support coffee-growing communities, the most popular three survey responses were:
- Choose certified coffee suppliers.
- Purchasing coffee directly from the source.
- Select suppliers that donate a percentage of their proceeds to charity.
Those responses certainly resonate with our values. We always focus on the provenance of the beans we roast and sell through our single order and coffee subscriptions. We also make great efforts to source our coffee ethically and to support families, small-scale farms, charities and cooperatives from around the World.
We achieve this through close partnerships with coffee sourcers such as Raw Material, Kamba Coffee and Caravela; companies with whom we have deep personal relationships and know will provide the stability that coffee farmers need. They also re-invest in the farms through donations to improve the infrastructure that helps farmers succeed in their speciality coffee journey.
Closer to home, we partner with a fantastic social enterprise called SolidariTee, an International, student-led charity fighting for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. We donate 15% of our sales to this cause for customers who elect to participate when they order from us (it costs nothing for our customers to show their support).
There's always more we can do but, given consumer awareness is low about where their coffee comes from and how it arrives in their cup, the coffee industry needs to educate its customers better so they can make informed choices.