The Future of Coffee Farming
S&D Coffee & Tea takes action toward sustainable farming practices
Consumer demand for coffee is projected to triple by 2050, challenging coffee farmers and manufacturers to produce more than twice as much coffee as they do today (2017 Conservation International). As a leading coffee roaster, we are taking action to ensure a sustainable future for the industry.
Coffee farmers, like those within many other agricultural sectors, are up against growing demand, reduced farmable land for coffee production and decreased yield due to unfavorable climate conditions. These issues are deterring younger generations from taking up the coffee farming tradition, further destabilizing the future of the crop. We recognize how vital sustainable practices are to our current operations and for future growth.
That’s why we established Raíz Sustainability®, a sustainable sourcing platform for coffee and tea rooted in impact. An inclusive approach provides smallholder farmers with immediate access to training and technical assistance to help adopt best practices in agriculture and business management. S&D works closely with our partners toward long-term solutions with measurable improvement in mitigating sustainability challenges. The Raíz platform addresses social, environmental and economic industry issues including fair labor practices, soil health, productivity and cost management.
While Raíz Sustainability® concentrates on our farming partners abroad, S&D also assists ambitious U.S. farmers facing obstacles to access viable farmland. Located near our headquarters in Concord, N.C., the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm is a certified organic operation that helps beginning farmers gain access to land and equipment to start their own farm businesses. Lomax is both a training ground for new farmers and a source of locally grown and certified organic produce. S&D supports this worthy initiative through contributions applied to Lomax Farm’s Farmers-In-Training Program and general operational costs such as tractor repair and soil testing. We also donate compostable waste from our coffee production, such as spent coffee grounds from our extracts facility repurposed for soil enrichment, and burlap sacks from green bean storage used for erosion control.
S&D is passionate about making a difference, both in our home and global communities. However, we also recognize that the complex sustainability challenges facing our industry as a whole can only be tackled through collaboration. To address these issues on a macro level, S&D became one of the founding members of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a joint initiative of more than 60 industry-leading partners. From NGOs to corporations and research organizations, we share insights to make measurable progress toward sustainable practices for the coffee industry.
At S&D, we know that sustainable investments and the proactive management of risks drive the success and profitability of our business. That’s why we support and implement sustainability initiatives that allow our producers to thrive and ensure supply of our premium coffee to meet the demand of our customers and consumers.