Sustainable coffee drinking with BARISTACLUB
With the launch of the new barista club, MediaMarktSaturn is further expanding its coffee expertise - and also its sustainability expertise. After all, many of the offered premium coffees not only taste excellent, they are also produced "sustainably". But what does that actually mean - sustainable coffee?
The country's most popular drink is not beer, but coffee: Germans drink as much as 164 litres a year per person. When it comes to coffee, coffee lovers are mainly interested in three things: Does it taste good? What does it cost? Do we still have time for a second one? It's worth taking a look at the products offered by MediaMarkt and Saturn as part of the new Baristaclub.
But what does "sustainable coffee drinking" actually mean? The way they are prepared makes a difference. Energy and resource consumption vary considerably depending on the type of machine. MediaMarkt and Saturn have a large number of fully automatic coffee makers, strainer carriers and capsule machines in their range that meet the latest energy standards. Both brands have also been offering services such as the commissioning, maintenance and repair of fully automatic coffee machines for some time
But an even greater sustainability lever is the coffee bean itself. Why?
The ecological and social problems of coffee cultivation
Coffee is grown in over 50 countries in the so-called coffee belt. Because the coffee plant needs a warm and very humid climate, and that is only given around the equator. These countries are also more exposed to climate change than others. Heat waves, excessive droughts and rainfall threaten harvests and thus the people who want to live from coffee farming.
Coffee production changes the environment of the cultivation area, for example with monocultures. Plantations must be fertilized and protected against pests, and artificial fertilizers and pesticides are used accordingly. This not only endangers the health of workers and the population: the deterioration of soils associated with monocultures also means that new cultivation areas have to be developed - for which new rainforests are often cleared.
Another problem is the high water consumption in coffee processing. Depending on the method used, the coffee beans are extracted from the so-called coffee cherries with the aid of a special machine and rinsed. This process consumes precious drinking water, which is scarce in these regions - and it leads to polluted wastewater polluting the environment and endangering the health of the local population.
The social challenges in the coffee harvest are even more serious. This is hard work and usually only seasonal. Seasonal workers typically live in poor housing, living and working conditions are often catastrophic, workers' rights are often disregarded and no living wages are paid. Because wages are so low, child labour is the order of the day.
How coffee companies tackle the problems
Because over 100 million people are living from coffee production - and because Germany is also the world's second largest importer of coffee - we have a great responsibility. With every cup of coffee, it lies in our own hands to make a contribution to better production and working conditions.
Responsible coffee suppliers are actively tackling these problems by purchasing coffee from sustainably certified sources. The consumer recognises well-known certifiers by seals such as "Fairtrade" or "UTZ certified" and "Rainforest Alliance" (the latter have recently formed an organisation). But the "Bio" seal also improves the sustainability of coffee production. It can be seen that certification rules have improved the sustainability of coffee production here.
The various certification systems have slightly different focuses. The plantation owners themselves decide whether they see advantages in working with a certifier and with which seal they want to work. All initiatives have one thing in common: they improve the social and ecological conditions in coffee cultivation.
Implementing sustainability in coffee cultivation
Sustainability initiatives have one primary goal: to enable farmers and their families to make a decent living from growing coffee and to improve people's living conditions. The various initiatives have a direct and indirect impact on the economic, social and practical framework conditions of coffee production.
For example, farmers are trained in how to purify and treat water. The certifiers also provide practical knowledge on how farmers can adapt to climate change. It is also important to show the plantations how they can improve the working conditions of their employees - including first aid courses, because this knowledge can save lives in an environment where work is often dangerous. Such programs also prohibit child labor under the age of 15, forced labor or physical punishment.
The training of sustainable cultivation methods also includes the correct use of fertilizers and the maintenance or even improvement of soil fertility. If you learn to deal well with your soil and use pesticides as little and as little as possible to meet your needs, you not only protect the regional environment: this farmer can expect better harvests in the long term and produce and sell more and better coffee in the long term.
Fair trade initiatives focus on social aspects and try to keep farmers' incomes stable. Where, for example, world market prices fluctuate depending on demand, production and crop failures, they guarantee farmers constant, "fair" prices and thus ensure that a single bad harvest does not ruin the existence of the farmers.
Sustainable coffee beans in the Baristaclub
The Baristaclub serves environmentally conscious customers with exclusively selected sustainable brands that address the ecological and social challenges of coffee production. The new Baristaclub organic coffee comes from Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia and India and is sourced from micro-growing areas. Quality rather than quantity, as well as taste, is the most important criteria in the production and roasting of Baristaclub Arabica and Robusta beans.
In addition, the Baristaclub has more brands in its range, that carry the organic seal for controlled organic cultivation or are ecologically and socially sustainable. These include brands like Bristot and Kimbo, which are certified both as organic and Rainforest Alliance coffees. In addition, the Bristot quality process is ISO 9001 certified.
To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability in supply chains, MediaMarktSaturn has joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBI, formerly: EICC / Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition), which commits its member companies to adhere to a code of conduct on sustainability and the improvement of corporate social responsibility.
Conclusion: The Baristaclub offers discerning customers a coffee world in which they can combine maximum enjoyment with sustainability. So the coffee tastes a little better!