Cutting carbon emissions in coffee production: ofi sets its sights on a 30% reduction by 2030

Ingredient and raw materials major ofi (Olam Food Ingredients), which supplies cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts and spices to the food industry has announced new coffee sustainability targets for the next six years and cutting carbon emissions is top of the agenda. Launched as part of their coffee Livelihoods, Empowerment, and Nature at Scale campaign (LENS), it is the result of extensive research into the impact coffee production has on the environment, as well as the impact the environment has upon coffee production.

“Our targets are ambitious, but they’re backed by a sustainability journey spanning 20 years and represent the next chapter in our long-term ambition to build more resilient and regenerative coffee supply chains,” explains coffee chief executive for ofi, Vivek Verma.

How is ofi cutting carbon emissions from coffee production?

In collaboration with Google geo-spatial partner, NGIS, ofi has created a Carbon Sequestration Monitoring (CSM) tool, which measures and accounts for gains and losses in carbon stocks on ofi’s coffee suppliers’ farms and sourcing landscapes. This will allow ofi to monitor exactly how much carbon is being produced in the manufacturing of its coffee. This system will also be applied to its cashew and cocoa production.

This new digital tool will work in addition to ofi’s existing monitoring framework, identifying exactly where changes need to be made.

“We know from the Digital Footprint Calculator on our sustainability management system AtSource, that on-farm GHG emissions – Scope 3 – are by far the biggest part of our footprint,” Sara Mason, Head of Coffee Sustainability Engagement at ofi, told FoodNavigator. “To reduce these emissions we work closely with farmers to incentivise and implement climate-smart measures, and our Carbon Scenario Planner (CSP) built into AtSource allows us to model the most cost-effective way. The CSP is a key activation tool to support the decarbonization projects ongoing in our coffee (as well as cocoa supply chains, and on our pepper estates in Brazil and Vietnam.) For example, for one of our global coffee customers that we supply with beans from Guatemala – the tool has enabled us to model a 32% carbon reduction scenario”