Kahlúa achieves 100 per cent coffee supply chain traceability


Coffee liqueur brand Kahlúa has announced 100 per cent of its key ingredient, Arabica coffee, has full traceability and is solely sourced from the remote Mexican farming communities participating in its ‘Coffee for Good’ initiative, launched in 2016.

Over the past six years, Kahlúa has been working with a local NGO, Fondo Para La Paz in four local communities in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico. Together, they have been investing in better living and working conditions for farmers, establishing good agricultural practices, and protecting the region’s biodiversity. Kahlúa now is confident that its coffee is derived from a more sustainable source.

“It’s paramount that we have traceability across our coffee supply chain, not only for our own peace of mind, but it’s essential that we provide the same assurances to our retail customers,” says Lynne Millar, Director of Purchasing at Kahlúa.

Since the project began 704 farmers have been trained, 214 dry toilets built, more than 213,500 coffee trees planted and around 70 women are now in leadership roles.

With the advice from experts, the Coffee for Good program has provided nutritional packages and fertilisers to nurture young trees, as well as protect the environment and biodiversity. Establishing strong bonds between villages has also been vital in creating community support and encouraging knowledge sharing.

“This year, we have added another two villages to our program, Popocatepec and Mitepec. We are also looking at the potential for youth scholarships at local agricultural colleges. In the past, younger generations have been quick to migrate to Mexico City to seek work but through the project’s success, many younger people believe that there is a future in coffee farming after all,” says Craig van Niekerk, Global VP of Marketing for Malibu and Kahlúa.

Having started in Ocotempa, a remote village in the Veracruz mountains, the project focuses on three interconnected themes, social, economic, and environmental, to help smallholder farmers move towards a sustainable farming model and improved living conditions.

The project starts by addressing communities’ most basic needs, such as improving access to fresh water and sanitation. Extensive planting is undertaken, replacing old and less productive trees with new disease-resistant plants that are more resilient to climate change.

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