I start every morning with a cup of coffee. It’s as ingrained in me as breathing, as I’m sure it is for many. As consumers come to expect more from their brands, UCC Hawaii was recently certified to GLOBALG.A.P.’s Crops for Processing Standard following an independent audit process conducted by Control Union.
I touched base with Tsukasa Kobayashi, General Manager of UCC Hawaii, and Roberta Anderson, Executive Vice President of GLOBALG.A.P. North America, to learn more.
“We believe it is highly significant that in the United States, the world's largest coffee consuming country, we are the first to be recognized in compliance with GLOBALG.A.P. certification,” Tsukasa explained. “The GLOBALG.A.P. certification will help to add some values by increasing transparency to the crops produced in the farm. It also gives us the guideline for better farming and corporate activities by improving farm management and productivity through the certification process. We also believe that customers who purchase our products will feel a positive sense of involvement in the various social issues surrounding the coffee industry and will be satisfied with their connection to our products.”
Tsukasa also noted that the GLOBALG.A.P. certification under the Crops for Processing (CFP) could revitalize the coffee industry from a different angle and generate synergies for other agricultural products that are process-centered crops.
“UCC Hawaii has made a sincere commitment to responsible farming practices by adopting this voluntary standard and taking the steps necessary to achieve independent certification for their green coffee beans,” Roberta added. “As retailers and manufacturers are increasingly interested in the sustainability of their supply chains all the way to farm level, we anticipate more will follow in the footsteps of UCC Hawaii. Independent verification of farm-level sustainability claims is not yet common practice in the U.S. market, although it holds the potential for adding credibility to such claims and stamping out greenwashing. GLOBALG.A.P. certification offers real assurance that responsible farming practices stand behind the products associated with company brands.”
GLOBALG.A.P. is widely known for its flagship Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard, which covers safe and responsible farming practices. CFP covers all the same topics as IFA, but applies to crops that are slated for processing. These range from fruits for juicing to vegetables for freezing to green coffee beans for roasting. However, CFP is adapted to recognize where there is a lower food safety risk for these processed products and offers a longer auditing cycle.
“The coffee industry is deeply related to environmental issues such as climate change and social issues such as human rights. In order to address these issues, UCC Group has established sustainable guidelines to contribute to a sustainable society and set a goal to convert our coffee material with UCC brand to 100 percent sustainable one by 2030,” Tsukasa continued, emphasizing the importance of this collaboration.
GLOBALG.A.P.’s reputation and standards are accepted the world, including Japan where UCC’s parent company is located.
“Certification to GLOBALG.A.P.’s CFP standard means that UCC Hawaii puts responsible farming practices behind each cup of coffee brewed with their beans, and they are willing to open their farm to an audit to prove it,” Roberta asserted. “In a time when greenwashing is on the rise, UCC Hawaii’s customers can feel confidence and pride in their association with an industry first.”
We’ll continue to report on the latest in sustainability initiatives and programs as they affect specialty food, so stay tuned to us here at Deli Market News.