Nabob Coffee's Green Practices

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Nabob’s Green Bean Practices

Nabob Coffee Company, formally under Kraft products since 1994, prides itself on developing sustainable, earth-friendly methods to harvest, transport and package their coffee. Their mission is to “…make positive change in the way coffee is brought to you [the consumer]”(Nabob Coffee Company). Nabob capitalized on the increased trend of going green and launched a new campaign in 2010 with the slogan “Better Beans. Better Coffee. Better Planet”(Nabob Coffee Company). The company’s website is an interactive journey through the multiple stages their product goes through and the measures they take to ensure that their producers are treated fairly, their supply chain is efficient and as green as possible, as well as making their packaging out of recyclable materials. In Canada coffee is the number one beverage choice, with over 63% of Canadians drinking coffee daily, averaging 2.6 cups (Coffee Association of Canada). In Anup Shah’s article, called “Consumption and Consumerism”, she argues that, “the real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects”(Shah). I will be using a framework consisting of 5 main areas (environment, economy, social, health and legal) to examine the patterns and effects of Nabob’s choices. Throughout the essay I will be using the multi-part framework to analyze and create a case study on Nabob’s business processes.

Nabob prides itself on its ongoing strive to be as green as possible. From production to packaging they have made it part of their mission to make the planet better off. On their company website it says, “We’re committed to redesigning our supply chain and developing innovative new packaging to reduce our footprint”(Nabob Company). In terms of packing, Nabob says it uses 100% recyclable materials in the outer layer of their canister and they say they have reduced the amount of packaging material discarded into landfills by 800,000 pounds a year (Nabob Company). This is a step in the right direction however more detailed brand specific information on the amount of pollution created in the supply chain process was limited.

In the general coffee industry there are three main areas of that contribute to pollution: water contaminants, soil erosion and deforestation (Barton). While producers want to maximize their production and therefore profits, nowadays, coffee farmers must also take into account the harm that they are causing to their surrounding area (Vandermeer, Perfecto). Not only does the production of coffee cause pollution in the air, via plant operations, but also in the water surrounding the farm (Barton). The traditional way to grow and harvest coffee beans was done through a process termed “shade coffee” (Wikipedia 1). Shade coffee production creates its own natural mulch and gets its nutrients from the canopy of trees above it. This method allows for minimal amounts of soil erosion and no deforestation, as well as no harmful pesticides or fertilizers that leak into the water (Mussatto et al.). However, with the invention of “sun coffee”, a method in which 3 times the amount of coffee produced in shade coffee could be produced in the same area with sun coffee, the negative effects of harvesting on the environment increased (Barton). Sun coffee called for massive amounts of deforestation, as coffee was able to grow in large fields and needed to be in direct sunlight in order to get nutrients. With the loss of the tree canopies, soil erosion increased and herbicides and pesticides needed to be used in order to protect the bushes (Barton). The fertilizers used in the process of sun coffee leaks into nearby streams and water bodies affecting the cleanliness of the drinking water for civilians living near by the farm (Harmand et al.). Some people even got sick as a result of the water contamination. The positive part about water contamination occurring near farms and plants is that an “anti-dumping” policy was created...
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