Meeting Members:
Over a cup of coffee with Melitta Group

We hear from Stefan Dierks, Director Sustainability at Melitta Group and learn more about the company’s involvement in collective action, transparent reporting, and why Melitta is engaged in pre-competitive collaboration through GCP.

The Melitta Group defined a strategic target “100% Coffee of the Future in 2030”. According to our definition, Coffee of the Future is grown in a way which enables growers’ communities to live comfortably long-term while ecological systems are preserved or regenerated. It is processed, transported, and roasted climate-friendly whilst using water sustainably. Packaging is recyclable or – wherever possible – made from recycled materials. Coffee of the Future is prepared in an energy-saving fashion and, insofar as corresponding structures exist, the coffee grounds are recovered due to circular economy principles.

Melitta is convinced only an innovative combination of measures along the value chain will help us achieving our set goals of “Coffee of the Future”.

We believe that innovative alliances are needed to complement individual measures like sustainability certification (e.g. Rainforest Alliance, 4C and Fairtrade) and community projects. A livable future in the growing regions can only be achieved through complementary collaborative approaches by all stakeholders. These may also include representatives of other economic sectors, as well as governments and authorities, science, and civil society.

The GCP offers with its structure, its know-how and programs the opportunity to follow this path and develop innovative forms of cooperation.

Some exemplary activities of the Melitta Group in this given framework are:

  • We are supporting the GCP Collective Action Initiative “Social Well-Being” in Brazil, which aims to improve living and working conditions for coffee growers, workers, and their families, while raising awareness of reliable and secure working conditions.
  • We are participating actively in the revision of the GCP Baseline Coffee Code. We believe the revised Code can be a chance to reach more coffee farmers and parallel stimulate innovation and investment at the farm level and along the coffee supply chain.
  • We support GCPs effort to advance sector transparency of sustainable coffee. Therefore, we are participating again in this year’s GCP Roaster & Reporting*. We are committed to continuously increase our shares of sustainably certified or verified coffee.

Besides our engagement in GCP activities, we initiated – parallel to a community project with 4C Services in Colombia – a Circular Economy project, co-financed by DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft with funds from the program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in Brazil. This circular economy approach on organic coffee waste management aims to reduce waste from coffee production and processing and to transform organic waste into valuable raw materials for further productive processes. Based on this, the project fosters the development and locally implementation of new economic models by entrepreneurial enterprises. Key results, insights and learnings will naturally be shared with the Brazil Country Platform.

“We are aware further individual and joint engagement will be necessary to secure the mid- and long-term sustainability of the coffee sector. Against this background, we are looking forward to our future exchange and collaboration in the framework of the GCP.

– Stefan Dierks, Director Sustainability -Melitta Group Management GmbH & Co. KG

*The GCP Sustainable Coffee Purchases Snapshot 2019 & 2020 will be published in the coming weeks.

This contribution forms part of a new series called Meeting Members.