All of Walmart’s store brand coffee is now sustainably certified

Walmart committed to more sustainably source all of its private branded coffee found in U.S. stores by 2020.

In 2017 Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart committed to more sustainably source all of its private branded coffee found in U.S. stores by 2020. On Sept. 29 the retailer announced it achieved its goal one year early: All coffee sourced for its private brands is now certified sustainable through third-party groups Fair Trade Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified or UTZ.

Sustainability is at the heart of our ongoing mission to do right by people across the Walmart supply chain and across the planet,Ryan Isabell, senior buying manager of coffee and cocoa, wrote in a blog on the Walmart website. When our customers enjoy the aroma of our private brand coffee, we also want to ensure we’re meeting their expectations on quality and sourcing based on best-in-class, certified industry standards — all while delivering on everyday low prices. Our customers can now be certain that the coffee they’re buying from us was grown with care, by farmers working to build sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities.

Isabell said Walmart couldn’t have achieved its certified sustainable coffee goal and advances in transparency without the help of partners, such as Conservation International (CI), a nonprofit environmental organization headquartered in Arlington, Va. Walmart was the first major North American retailer to join CI’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge

“This is an important milestone for Walmart, its customers and the entire coffee sector,” said M. Sanjayan, CEO of CI. "Having a retailer like Walmart transition its U.S. private brand coffee to certified sustainable sources will help push the entire sector towards greater sustainability. That’s good news for nature and people. It’s also a great opportunity to engage consumers in the role nature plays in providing us with the things we love."

The announcement comes shortly after the company revealed its plans for reducing its packaging footprint for all of its private brand products. Earlier this year, the world’s largest retailer imposed stringent requirements on its private brand portfolio and expects branded suppliers to do the same as it moves towards its goal of creating zero waste