Ikea yesterday (11 October) confirmed that its new PÅTÅR coffee range boasts the UTZ and EU Organic certifications, while McDonald’s has reportedly pledged to buy all of its coffee from sustainable sources by 2020.

Ikea, which serves more than 100 million cups of coffee every year, will sell PÅTÅR, which incorporates five different coffee products in the Swedish Food Market section of its stores, along with its restaurants and bistros. The retailer has been serving UTZ-certified coffee since 2008, but this new range is also certified as EU Organic.

Health & sustainability manager of IKEA food services Jacqueline Macalister said: “At IKEA, we decided to go ‘all-in’ for sustainable coffee and, building on the UTZ certification, develop a coffee range that follows the EU organic certification standards as well. I’m really happy we can now offer our customers this combination of UTZ and organic throughout our coffee range.”

The Swedish furniture company will be supporting small-scale producers in central and South America and offering a means for customers to fully trace the origin of their coffee through the UTZ/IKEA online tracer. Farmers that are part of the UTZ programme generally gain higher yields, better incomes and better living conditions, as well as protection of the environment.

Executive director of UTZ Han de Groot said: “The IKEA commitment to UTZ-certified and organic coffee is an inspiring example how different certification schemes can complement and support each other and jointly strengthen a company’s road towards sustainability.

“We are proud to work together with companies like IKEA; it is because of them we are able to make a difference for an increasing number of coffee producers ultimately making sustainable farming the norm.”

Sourcing UTZ-certified and organic coffee follows last month’s commitment to source ASC or MSC-certified seafood, and the introduction of ‘Veggie balls’ in April 2015. 

McDonald’s pledge

Meanwhile, McDonald’s – which is one of the biggest coffee sellers in the UK – has announced plans to obtain all of its coffee from sustainable sources by 2020, after forging a new partnership with Conservation International, according to Bloomberg. Currently, around 37% of McDonald’s coffee comes Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade USA or UTZ-certified farms.

McDonald’s USA director of supply chain sustainability Townsend Bailey told Bloomberg: “Our customers want to see where are products come from, what’s in it and how it’s made… we want to make sure that we have sufficient supply of high-quality coffee for the long run… with changing dynamics in coffee with climate change, it’s really an important topic to make sure we are engaging farmers and helping them.”

The announcement comes in the same week that it was revealed that McDonald’s is one of a number of high-street brands taking part in a trial to recycle used paper coffee cups that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

For the next three months, 11 giant coffee cup bins will be placed down Oxford Road in Manchester to solely collect paper coffee cups, which will then be recycled into 15,000 plastic flower pot holders to be used in community gardens around the area.

Luke Nicholls and Alex Baldwin

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