US coffee roaster will pursue more transparent supply chains and announces the creation of a global supplier assurance framework to support its ethical and sustainability objectives
61% of Westrock Coffee Company's coffee and tea is currently responsibly sourced | Photo credit: Westrock Coffee Company
Westrock Coffee Company has announced it will ‘responsibly source’ 100% of its coffee and tea by 2025 – a figure that currently stands at 61% across 35 farming origins, according to the company.
To verify its supply chains meet minimum ethical and sustainability standards, Westrock said it will build a ‘global supplier assurance framework’ in partnership with the Committee on Sustainable Assessment, a company which supports businesses with sustainability solutions, and UK standards body BSI.
The company also plans to assign additional staff in supply chains ‘to quantify the social, environmental, and entrepreneurial impact of coffee and tea at origin.’
“We are excited to continue the sustainability journey that started 12 years ago with a small exporting business in Rwanda. While our hands-on approach to working with our farmer partners and customers remains the same, we are humbled by the opportunity to expand this across 173 million pounds of coffee and tea globally,” said Matt Smith, Westrock Coffee’s Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Quality, and Sustainability.
Arkansas-based Westrock is one of the largest commercial coffee roasters in the US, with expansive operations including an 85,000sq m distribution centre, 27,000sq m roasting and packaging plant, and 9,000 sq m bag plant.
In February 2020, Westrock Coffee Company acquired S&D Coffee & Tea for $405m. The agreement gave the two US coffee roasters a combined capacity to package nearly 100,000 tons of coffee annually.
Westrock currently sources coffee and tea from 35 countries and operates under both the Westrock Coffee and S&D Coffee & Tea brands.