Coffee-loving Swedes bring you new organic beans
Swedes are among the biggest coffee drinkers on the entire planet. The dark, steamy beverage is at the center of many traditions and ideals—including equality. Everyone deserves a good cup of coffee so, it comes as no surprise that a company rooted in Swedish values is committed to bringing the best beans it can to customers around the world.
IKEA coffee beans come from family farms and small-scale cooperatives in countries like Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. The coffee is both UTZ certified and organically grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides. “We have worked many years with UTZ coffee because it aligns with IKEA’s own Code of Conduct, IWAY,” says Henrik Ringdahl, an IKEA product developer who helped create the new coffee on offer. "It takes good care of not only the coffee but also the growers and workers,” he explains.
Coffee that’s better for farmers and customers
UTZ works with farmers to improve growing methods. This helps to lower costs and increase crop quality and yields, which improves the livelihoods of farmers. Workers earn a living wage and farmers increase their income. Their children can go to school and have time for play too. More than 5.7 million pounds of IKEA coffee is produced every year. It may seem like an impressive amount, but in terms of global production, it’s not much. “Even though our volumes on a global perspective are small, our brand name and our presence on the market can create a ripple effect,” says Anders Lennartsson. He should know. He led sustainability for IKEA Food back in 2008 when the whole coffee range became UTZ certified. At the time, many markets didn’t even know what UTZ was.
“With our requirement [for UTZ coffee], it started to spread around the world. Countries and producers started to work with UTZ who hadn’t been doing that before,” he says. “Our brand can help stimulate the demand effect and send the right signals up global supply chains.” UTZ certification was a positive step toward better coffee, but it was just the beginning of the journey to create truly sustainable and delicious beans. Now that the beans are organic too, the IKEA coffees are better than ever. “Building on UTZ we also wanted our beans to be organically grown, meaning without the use of fertilizers and pesticides,” says Jacqueline Macalister, responsible for health and sustainability at IKEA Food. “This means healthier soils and less impact on the climate. Also, farmers are paid more for organic crops. That way they improve their livelihood while at the same time they’re safeguarding the environment.”
Quality beans for a quality taste
Though sourcing UTZ and organic coffee beans from small-scale growers benefits both the farmers and the consumers, getting the taste of organic coffee just right is a tricky business. “Close co-operation with the supplier from bean to cup is key for success,” says Henrik. In order to rise to the challenge, IKEA improved the quality of its coffee across the board. “We have a higher standard of beans today, in order to be able to have a good taste profile for our organic coffee,” says Henrik. Only 100% Arabica beans, the species widely considered top notch for taste, are used in IKEA coffee. Add that to the overall quality improvement of each bean and you get a tastier cup every time. In fact, the people at IKEA who are responsible for this new range of coffees have given it a confident name: PÅTÅR. That’s Swedish for a second cup of coffee. Something they hope customers will be happily asking for.