A majority of Keurig’s® products use Arabica coffee, which is primarily a rain-fed crop, requiring little irrigation. Some of Keurig’s® coffee is sourced from Fair Trade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance® certified farms, which promote socially and environmentally responsible farming and business practices. See the map at the end of this page for the various coffee farm locations around the world at which Keurig® has its coffee beans grown. Then, “after coffee is harvested, energy is used to dry, sort, and mechanically hull (removing the outer covering) the beans before packaging, and fuel is consumed to transport the beans to [their] facilities” (Creating Sustainable Products).
Keurig’s® partnerships with coffee farms across the globe have both social and environmental impacts. In terms of social impacts, it provides jobs to the local farmers and companies in those regions. Additionally, Keurig® strives to offer the best workplace for those workers and farmers. In fact, one of Keurig’s® goals is to “engage one million people in our manufacturing and agriculture supply chains to significantly improve their livelihoods including water security and climate resilience” by the year 2020 (Building a Resilient Supply Chain). Thus the social implications of this are numerous. Due to the jobs and and high-quality working conditions provided by Keurig® around the world, more people have access to clean water, adequate housing, food for them and their families, and so on. In fact, Keurig® has stated, “Since we know that many small-scale coffee farmers struggle with poverty and food security, we have a vested interest in their success and resiliency. We believe that improved livelihoods will help farmers stay on their farms and re-invest in their coffee” (Building a Resilient Supply Chain). It is possible that Keurig® is striving to increase the number of people involved with its company to one million worldwide simply because it wants to improve the living condition for more people, but it may be more likely that its true motivation is the furthering of its company and its profits on an international scale, as well as increasing its positive publicity and esteem in the global market. Whatever Keurig’s® motivation may be, the benefits for farmers to partner with Keurig® will definitely encourage future generations to engage in coffee farming.
In terms of environmental impacts, Keurig® seeks to understand how its farming and cultivation process affects the environment and to limit the negative impacts it has. One example of this desire to be more environmentally conscious is their goal to “source 100% of primary agricultural and manufactured products according to established Keurig Green Mountain responsible sourcing guidelines” by the year 2020 (Building a Resilient Supply Chain). These guidelines include adhering to the United Nations Compact and the Ceres Principals, which call for thorough environmental awareness and protection (Supplier Guidelines). In addition, since most of Keurig’s® products use Arabica coffee, which is primarily a rain-fed crop, the amount of water used in irrigation is decreased significantly. Again, Keurig® could be following these environmental protection practices in its coffee bean cultivation simply to help sustain the environment, but a more likely reason is that it is looking out for its own publicity. If Keurig® wasn’t adhering to these standards, it would be detrimental to its standing in the public’s eyes, and its business would suffer greatly.