One of the world's largest coffee producers Tchibo was founded in 1949, and Tchibo branded coffees are sold in many countries such as America, the UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia and Turkey. So, how about reviewing a product from Tchibo in this sector where the bad effects of coffee production on the environment are known? For me, researching this brand was an insightful experience because the goal of operating sustainability in this area, where there are many competitors, is a valuable but controversial issue. According to my research, I wouldn’t consider this product sustainable totally but it has a less negative impact when compared to similar brands’ products and I would recommend Tchibo’s consumers to be more conscious about what they consume since huge companies like Tchibo causes high rates of waste per day. Also, I would recommend that they should turn to brands where more local and sustainability goals are processed transparently, such as Café Mam Coffee which has 3 planets in Voiz reviews.
The roots of Bio-Kaffee that is made of 100% Arabica coffee beans can be traced back to coffee cherries in the Ethiopian highlands. It is mentioned that Ethiopia is the only place where coffee is grown and harvested using traditional methods and without using chemical fertilizers. The importance of using organic fertilizers is that fertilizer does not only enhance the soil quality but also affect the quality of the coffee and its market price. There is more to come in the next section of the review, such as consumption of water, and transportation processes of the product. Also, Tchibo states that their circular economy begins with the way they design and package their products, so 97% of their product packaging is recyclable.
Tchibo’s small farmers grow coffee using 100% ecological and traditional methods in this production process. When we look at the traditional methods, water consumption is high in coffee cultivation. According to WWF’s Tchibo Water Report, coffee (18.000 l/kg) is one of the most water-intensive crops cultivated. Therefore, the identification of water risks related to production and processing is an important step to reduce risks and increase transparency. In Bio- Kaffee, Arabica coffee beans, which are collected by hand, washed and dried in the sun, are transported to the port of Hamburg. After then, coffee goes through a precision drum roasting process at the roasting plant. A large proportion of CO2 emissions are produced when they roast the coffees. They use ISO 50001- certified energy management system in the Hamburg roasting facility where they invested 20 million euros in four energy-efficient roasters. This information can enlighten people because the importance of system efficiency in a factory is crucial in terms of energy consumption. Since discharges from coffee processing plants can represent a major source of water pollution we have to consider the receiving bodies. There isn’t enough information about this issue. The Bio-Kaffee, which has an organic seal label, guarantees controlled ecological agriculture in harmony with nature and preserving biodiversity. At the heart of this method of cultivation was the protection of raw materials, as well as the protection of soil, water and air. Pesticides and chemicals were avoided with the use of natural fertilizers. Another noteworthy feature of the bio-seal is that it guarantees uninterrupted monitoring of the product up to its origin. In addition to these, if we look at it from a transportation point, they use ocean transportation to reduce carbon emissions for products that go long way by various means of transportation. Sometimes they use the rail network to transport green coffee to their roasting facility. After leaving the roasting facilities, the coffee travels to the distribution centres on mega- trucks which are not to be specified as electric vehicles. They use extra-long lorries to be more efficient since a large number of products can be transported at the same on a single transport route. Overall, more than 90% of goods movements are carried out by water according to their data.
Tchibo’s website is a perfect example of how true sustainability should look. They convey in a way that they are serious, saying that the time for conversation is over, the time for action has come. On their website, they have listed the areas where they have made year-on-year progress in the title "Milestones in climate protection in Tchibo since 2006" and have not lagged in increasing the credibility of their information by frequently using data. Emphasizing that they are aware of the effects of the climate crisis and coffee production in this area, they express their goals to make Tchibo a 100% sustainable company on their websites, where they express awareness of their activities. However, they also pointed out that they have already achieved a lot more on their own. In some fields that cannot make progress, working together with all stakeholders as the most effective method for the protection of the environment is expressed in a sense. They're trying to normalize the situation and running away from responsibility. This is not acceptable.
They think that coffee is one of the most valuable raw materials in the world, and the demand is growing but the effects of climate change, rising fertilizer costs and falling coffee prices are some of the disadvantages for small-scale coffee farmers. However, Bio- Kaffee is a product with the Rainforest Alliance, an indicator of certified coffee cultivation, guarantees the protection of rainforests and sensitive ecosystems, as well as good, socially fair and safe working conditions for farmers and their employees. With this Bio- Kaffee higher yields improve the income of coffee farmers and thus also contribute to the improvement of their quality of life. In this sense, Tchibo has established the Tchibo Joint Forces program in 9 different countries. This empowerment and education initiative is helping more than 45.000 local farmers grow coffee more responsibly and sustainably. Also, there are over 5.500 children that help their parents with the coffee harvest, and Tchibo provides them to take care services, including meals and school education. Children are not usually employed as labourers in the harvest, but they follow their parents into the fields. Therefore, Tchibo has been setting up daycare centres in Honduras during harvest season. Another thing is that with Tchibo Bio- Kaffee two deep-water wells at an altitude of about 2.000 m have been provided to people in the Guji region since mid-2020 as part of the Organic Coffee Washing Project. In this direction, the aim is to improve access to clean drinking water and expand the understanding of hygiene to up to 17.000 people.