a cup of coffee

Fair Trade USA lists companies' achievements on National Coffee Day

Nonprofit fair trade certifier Fair Trade USA announced what major retailers have accomplished in regards to fair trade coffee products within private label collections.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Fair Trade USA named new commitments and milestones from partners on National Coffee Day, having first discussed some details and growth with Store Brands during a Q&A in advance of last week’s Store Brands Industry Forum on Beverages. Keurig Dr. Pepper, Target, Aldi and Kroger have all made new commitments to increase fair trade lineups within store brand coffee and tea collections as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge.

Fair Trade USA says that 48% of new coffee launches make a sustainability claim. This new demand for authenticity and innovation in packaged coffee has led to an uptick in Fair Trade Certification, a third-party label that more than 63% of U.S. consumers recognize and trust.    

“Taken together, these new launches and pledges mean that businesses see fair trade as a way to source responsibly and validate that claim to their customers,” said Abby Ayers, senior director of retail partnerships. “And most importantly, they mean coffee farmers will be protected against volatile market prices and more resilient in the face of climate change and future crises.”

​​Keurig Dr. Pepper was the largest purchaser of fair trade coffee globally for the 11th straight year in 2020. This achievement comes as the company reached its commitment of 100% responsibly sourced coffees by 2020. Keurig Dr. Pepper reached its goal by purchasing coffee that is certified or verified to an accepted third-party sustainable sourcing program, including Fair Trade USA. 

As part of Target’s commitment to the challenge and expanding on its success with Fair Trade USA Certified Good & Gather coffee in bags and single-cup pods, the retailer plans to launch Fair Trade Certified aluminum espresso capsules. Target also achieved its 2022 goal of certifying 100% of its Good & Gather coffee in bags and pods as sustainable according to the Fair Trade USA standard or an equivalent this year.  

Aldi committed to increasing its range of certified coffee products to more than 50% by 2025 to support its growing communities and protect biodiversity. Aldi will certify 100% of its private label Barissimo and Simply Nature coffees by the end of 2022.  

Another major retailer, Kroger, is building on its Simple Truth brand’s participation in the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The line has achieved 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee in all available growing regions by also committing to source 100% Fair Trade Certified coffee for its Private Selection brand from international growing regions by mid-2022. 

Some companies made major strides in product transparency. CVS Pharmacy became the first-ever drugstore to carry 100% Fair Trade Certified products in its exclusive store brand, Gold Emblem. The retailer’s exclusive grocery brand, now offers nine Fair Trade Certified coffee products in a variety of blends and roasts.