The main coffee growing areas are South and Central America and the tropical zones of Africa and Asia. The world’s largest coffee-producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, India and Honduras. Coffee is typically grown on family farms. The coffee imported to Finland consists of the work of thousands of families and thus it has a huge impact on the well-being of these family farms.
Most of the climate impact of coffee occurs in the cultivation process in the countries of origin. Therefore, sustainability – ensuring the wellbeing of people and the environment – at the source of coffee is very important.
For us at Meira, ensuring the sustainability of coffee is a very high priority. We have therefore set a goal that by the end of 2022, we will only buy sustainable verified green coffee. In practice, we ensure this by purchasing sustainability-certified raw coffee (UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fair trade). These certification schemes have clear requirements regarding human rights (including the ban on child and forced labor, adequate rest and a reasonable wage) and environmental protection (including purifying of water used in the process, safe use of fertilizers and chemicals, respect for biodiversity) in coffee cultivation.
We also invest in long-term partnerships, through which we ensure high-quality coffee, support the well-being of the farmers and develop sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. We care about the people who work for us, both in the heart of Helsinki in Vallila and on family farms in Uganda or Honduras
In addition to the sustainability of the coffee supply chain, we operate in an environmentally and climate-friendly way in our Vallila roastery. Since 2020, we have used either renewable (wind) or at least CO2-free electricity (nuclear power). By 2030, our goal is to permanently use electricity exclusively from renewable sources. We are constantly developing our waste management and processes, which increase our recycling rate and minimize the loss that occurs in production. Our goal is to reduce the amount of mixed waste generated in our processes to zero. During the first half of 2023, we have already managed to maintain our recycling rate at 80%.
One example of a circular economy project is the recycling of biowaste generated as a side stream of coffee production at our roastery to our partner Labio’s biogas plant, where biogas is produced from biowaste, which in turn is used to roast new coffee. We roast approx. one million kilos of coffee with this biogas per year.
We are constantly developing new, more environmentally friendly packaging solutions and production technologies. Our vision is that by 2030, all Meira packaging will be made from 100% recyclable, recycled or renewable material. This requires a lot of systematic work together with our partners which we persistently take forward under the leadership of our experts from procurement and product development.