Coffee cherries drying on shelf

Sustainable coffee

Ensuring the prosperity of coffee growers is vital to our business. By prioritizing responsible sourcing, we aim to uphold our values, support coffee farmers, protect the environment and fulfill the increasing demand for traceable coffee.

Introducing Sucden Coffee Verified

Sucden Coffee Verified is the voluntary sustainability scheme developed by Sucden Coffee that enables farmers to demonstrate that they produce their coffee sustainably and in line with the EU Deforestation Regulation.

Sucden Coffee Verified is rolled out across five coffee sourcing origins. We work together with our producers to establish a baseline level of sustainability in coffee production across these origins. The Scheme covers smallholders, large farms, and groups of farms.

Standard

The twelve sustainability criteria and forty-one subcriteria of the Scheme are outlined in the Sucden Coffee Verified Standard.

The commitment of Sucden Coffee to inclusivity and stakeholder engagement is a pivotal element of the standard-setting and -revision procedure. Consultation rounds on the standard criteria therefore included diverse groups of farmers in terms of origin, farm type, and prior certification status.

The Standard should be responsive to the dynamic nature of the coffee industry and should evolve to address emerging challenges and opportunities. To that end, feedback to the Standard is welcomed and may be shared via sustainablecoffee@sucden.com. Received feedback will be logged and taken into consideration for future standard revisions.

In addition, a full revision process including stakeholder consultation will take place every five years or more frequently if needed. Substantive changes will be communicated to directly affected parties such as assurance providers and certificate holders before implementation. Responsibility for the Standard and revisions lies with the Sucden Coffee Global Sustainability Team.

Alignment with EUDR and Global Coffee Platform 

Sucden Coffee Verified producers meet the deforestation and legality requirements of the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). Verified volumes are physically separated from non-confirmed deforestation-free volumes and geolocation data are tracked. In addition, Sucden is operationalizing a due diligence system to assess and mitigate risks in its supply chains to ensure compliance.

The Scheme was developed in collaboration with NewForesight Consultancy, based on the Global Coffee Platform’s Coffee Sustainability Reference Code and Equivalence Mechanism 2.0. The Scheme was operationalized in January 2024. It will be submitted to the GCP by late 2024 for assessment and recognition through the GCP Equivalence Process with results expected in Q1 of 2025.

In addition, the Sucden Coffee Verified Scheme contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Assurance 

Sucden Coffee Verified allows for both second- and third-party verification, where second-party assurance is provided by the local Sucden team and third-party assurance is provided by an independent accredited certification body. All entities requesting to become Sucden Coffee Verified are audited prior to verification. A risk-based sampling methodology is applied for groups to determine how many and which farms to audit.

Critical subcriteria must be met to obtain or maintain Sucden Coffee Verified status. Basic subcriteria must be met at the latest three years after the initial verification. If non-compliances are identified, our commitment to continuous improvement requires implementation of a time-bound corrective action plan. If there are no non-compliances, the audit process is repeated every three years after initial verification.              

Traceability

Sucden Coffee Verified applies the mixed identity preservation (mixed IP) chain-of-custody model. This means that Sucden Coffee Verified volumes are traceable to the farm or producer group. The production location of volumes is tracked throughout the supply chain, but volumes from different Certificate Holders (farms or producer groups) may be mixed. If such mixing takes place, all original production locations are documented, as well as the ratio in which mixing of volumes from different Certificate Holders occurs.

Throughout the supply chain (including transport, storage, and processing), verified volumes are kept physically separated from non-verified volumes and there is no mixing of verified and non-verified coffee.

Use of Claims and Logo

Sucden Coffee and its customers may make certain on- and off-product claims and use the logo in relation to the Sucden Coffee Verified Scheme. Permitted claims and conditions for their use can be found here.

Feedback, Complaints, Appeals and Grievances

A robust and accessible mechanism for stakeholders to report feedback, complaints, appeals, and grievances (FCAGs) is critical to the Sucden Coffee Verified Scheme contributing to real sustainability improvements across the coffee sector. Sucden Coffee takes feedback seriously and wants to protect the integrity of the Scheme. A summary of the FCAG procedure can be found here and the reporting form can be found here.

Traceability within Sucden Coffee Verified