McDonalds UK Switches To 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee

Each day 143,000 cups of coffee, cappuccino and latte are being served up and consumed in McDonald's restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. From now on the brew is being made from Kraft Foods, Kenco brand, a high-quality Arabica that is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified. The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization which works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. This move makes McDonald's the first major retailer in the United Kingdom to source 100 percent of its coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

Prices for a cup of coffee will remain locally competitive ranging from £1.09 ($1.43) for a regular coffee to £1.59 ($2.08) for a large cappuccino or latte. Since McDonald's pays a premium for Kenco coffee, the company is de facto subsidizing sustainable farm management, including the protection of ecosystems and access to clean and safe living and working conditions, schools, healthcare, training, potable drinking water, decent wages, better markets for crops and other worker rights and benefits. Rainforest Alliance certification standards are independent and verifiable. Thousands of farmers and farm workers in Colombia, Brazil and Central America will directly benefit from the switch. Far from being an environmental hero, McDonalds has certainly taken a step in the right direction. "Kenco and the Rainforest Alliance are ideal partners for McDonald's and [this] news builds on our previous efforts to both improve supply chain transparency and reduce our impact on the environment." said Steve Easterbrook, President and CEO of McDonald's UK. The company has hinted about its intentions to extend this commitment to its restaurants throughout Europe during 2007. No word yet on when American consumers can expect the good stuff.

It was only in 2003 that Kraft, one of the world's largest coffee roasters, began buying Rainforest Alliance Certified beans for use in its mainstream consumer coffee brands. In 2005 Kenco sustainable certified coffee was launched in the United Kingdom. Subsequently, other Rainforest Alliance Certified brands where created for European and North America markets such as Yuban brand, widely available in US supermarkets. Over the past several years, Kraft has continually increased its commitment to sustainability; from five million pounds of coffee from certified farms in 2004, to 14 million pounds in 2005 and to 29 million pounds in 2006.

In addition to Kraft Foods, companies that also partner with the Rainforest Alliance and offer certified sustainable coffee include: First Choice, Procter and Gamble, Tchibo, Lavazza, Nespresso, Royal Cup, Gloria Jeans and Bolling Coffee. Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and other mainstream outlets in the United States now carry Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees. In the past three years, the amount of coffee purchased from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms has, on average, doubled, from an estimated seven million pounds of coffee purchased in 2003 to an estimated 54.7 million pounds purchased in 2006. :: The Rainforest Alliance. See also: ::No More Amazon Deforestation for Soya, Says McDonald's, ::The 7,000km Journey That Links Amazon Destruction To McDonald's Fast Food

Tags: Coffee

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