Löfbergs Group has always valued its sustainable ethos, and through a new collaborative partnership, the company is set to expand the horizons of what’s possible for the longevity of the global coffee industry.
Swedish roaster Löfbergs Group has joined the European Coffee Federation (ECF) to help improve sustainability at the farm level and across its European operations.
The Karlstad-based company joins other global roasters already part of the ECF including illycaffè, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lavazza, Nestlé, Starbucks EMEA, and Tchibo.
“Through ECF, we have the opportunity for direct knowledge acquisition, exchange, and the ability to influence at European level. That makes ECF an important forum for us in our ambition to be a leading player in terms of fair, sustainable production and trade,” Löfbergs CEO Anders Fredriksson tells Global Coffee Report.
Fredriksson says joining the ECF has been on the company’s agenda for some time.
“We believe in the power of doing things together and that the road ahead is all about cooperation and developing solutions together with others. ECF will be a complement to our other engagements in producing countries, such as International Coffee Partners and coffee&climate, as well as in our local markets,” he says.
Fredriksson says ECF is facilitating the development of an environment in which the industry can meet the needs of consumers and society, while competing effectively to ensure the resilience and long-term sustainability of the coffee supply chain. “This goes well in line with our values and ambitions, and belief in a world where both people and coffee can grow,” Fredriksson says.
The ECF is focused on key areas of development: food safety, sustainability and international trade, from farmers to consumers. Fredriksson says Löfbergs Group has a lot to learn but is confident that being part of ECF will strengthen the company and its ability to contribute to a positive and sustainable industry.
Since 1906, Löfbergs Group has done what it believes is right for coffee, and people. A sustainable philosophy is part of the company’s DNA and something its owners, now in its fourth generation, have always had top of mind.
“The perspective has always been to build for coming generations. This means we have a clear focus to meet global challenges in all dimensions of sustainability – ecological responsibility, social equity and economic performance – in producing countries as well as on our home field,” Fredriksson says.
Löfbergs Group ensures human rights are respected in its commercial conditions and includes risk assessment in all parts of the business. Third party certifications are also an important tool, as is close relationships and contacts it holds with farmers and cooperatives.
“Our purchasing department has gotten a more centralised role at the company over the last years, which leads to a better control of all criteria being met and the evaluations are equivalent,” Fredriksson says. “Before starting up a new cooperation, we have a thorough assessment process covering all aspects of sustainability, security, and quality as well as risks connected to origin and type of product.”
After passing all requirements, suppliers sign and commit to Löfbergs Group’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which they are periodically evaluated on.
Beyond long-term sustainability practices, Fredriksson says the risks in origin countries have increased in the last years due to climate changes and COVID, amongst others, with less focus on working conditions, pesticides and quality.
As such, he says it’s important to focus on how to best contribute to reducing risk factors. One way Löfbergs has done so, is by connecting to Era of We, the world’s first digital end-to-end platform which aims to shift the value of coffee brands back to coffee farmers and consumers.
The other solution is through the support of organisations such as ECA, which exist to make a collaborative impact on a greater scale.
“I think it´s crucial we have forums where different organisations work together to influence each other and conditions for a fair, sustainable production and trade,” Fredriksson says. “When working together we increase possibilities to change for the better.”
This article was first published in the November/December 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.