Traceability in supply chains was an unknown concept 15 years ago. Yet today it is a pressing topic for mid- and senior level managers in various sectors.
Why Traceability Even Matters
The reason for this is new regulation being introduced in the European Union in different sectors to force companies to take responsibility of the actions taken in their supply chains. This involves exact reports on working practices and conditions to prove the legality of the material but also the compliance to ethical practices of suppliers. For example, the Farm-to-Fork Strategy of the EU Green Deal that addresses sustainable food systems is central in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, national governments are introducing regulations for responsible sourcing. A hotly discussed new supply chain law in Germany would require detailed reporting from companies with more than 500 employees.
In the area of food raw materials customers are driving the adoption of traceability. A food study from Label Insight found out that 94 percent of consumers consider it essential that the brands and manufacturers they buy from are transparent about what is in their food and how it is made.
One of these products is speciality coffee from artisanal producers. Many of these producers have established direct trade relations for high quality coffee.
Rainbow Coffee – Wild Beans
It has become essential for producers in the specialty segment to tell the story behind their coffee, including its origin and other environmental and social aspects.
Such a producer is Rainbow Coffee GmbH from the southern German town of Lorch in the metropolitan area of Stuttgart. The young company is importing green coffee beans from Bonga Chiri in a direct cooperation with local farmers and offering Ethiopian Wild Coffee.
The Cradle of Coffee
Bonga Chiri is a name scarcely encountered when traveling to Ethiopia, if at all. But it is said to be the very birthplace of Arabica coffee. This region, hidden away deep in southwestern Ethiopia, sits quietly in unspoiled subtropical cloud forests brimming with coffee trees, wild honey, natural wonders, and wildlife. The biodiversity and perfect climate are the foundation for high-quality organic coffee of incredible variety.
Due to the multibillion-dollar global coffee industry, one might think that the origin and cradle of coffee is thriving. But the opposite is the case. For better or worse, there is no tourism in the mountainous elevated area and hardly any industry.