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We believe that sustainable agriculture is closely linked with farmers’ economic wellbeing. That’s why we chose to work directly with farmers on the ground, supporting them through initiatives that aim to increase their income or productivity through sustainable practices.

Our approach is based on three complementary streams:


Stream 1: Boosting Production of Certified/Verified Coffee

As consumer preference and demand for sustainable coffee increases, especially among millennials in North America and Western Europe, so too has the number of certification and verification schemes. Through regular audits and controls, these schemes reassure consumers that their coffee is responsibly produced, and therefore remain one of the most powerful indicators of sustainability within the coffee industry.

LDC works with some of the following verification and certification schemes:



The inclusive nature of the 4C Code of Conduct aims to reach producers who are not currently participating in the sustainable coffee market and bring them to a basic level of sustainability.

To find out more visit, https://www.4c-services.org/

C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farmer Equity)


C.A.F.E. Practices ensures that coffee is grown and processed in a sustainable manner, assessing the economic, social and environmental aspects of production.

To find out more visit, https://www.scsglobalservices.com/starbucks-cafe-practices



UTZ certification shows consumers that products have been obtained in a sustainable way. Certified suppliers must follow the UTZ Code of Conduct, which provides expert advice on better farming methods, working conditions and care for nature. This, in turn, leads to better production, a healthier environment and a better life for all.

To find out more visit, https://utz.org/

Rainforest Alliance


From deforestation and global warming to drought and extreme poverty, the Rainforest Alliance works to address pressing environmental and social challenges. The Rainforest Alliance Certified ™ seal is found on food and beverages in restaurants, supermarkets, airplanes, trains, and hotels around the world.

To find out more visit, http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/business/



Fairtrade standards are designed to combat poverty and empower producers in the world's poorest countries. The standards apply to producers and traders.

To find out more visit, https://www.fairtrade.net/


Stream 2: Supporting Farmers through Projects & Initiatives

Encouraging sustainable coffee production requires reaching more farmers than we have been able to do with certification. LDC’s second stream therefore builds on – and complements – our efforts to boost the production of certified and verified coffee.

Farmers whose production is not certified remain a vast majority, often earning too little to secure a living, let alone invest in their farms or in sustainable production methods. We collaborate with these farmers to help increase their income, while protecting their community, environment and work.

Our projects offer a wide range of support services. LDC agronomists visit thousands of smallholder coffee farmers each year, helping them not only to improve their agricultural techniques but also to observe all applicable national and international laws and standards. Together with our partners we organize training on usage of pesticides, access to markets, accounting, intercropping and more. Increasingly, our projects focus on women or entire families.

Case Study

Empowering women in Indonesia

In 2017, LDC and JDE launched a three-year project to train and improve the living conditions and resilience of 3,500 farmers and their families in Indonesia’s Lampung province. Implemented by LDC agronomists, the program treats coffee farming as a family business, organizing training either for women only, or jointly for husbands and wives.

Case Study

Training farmers in Vietnam

Tin Nguyen, a senior LDC coffee agronomist, grew up in Vietnam’s Dak Lak province, the country’s coffee capital. Today, he works with farmers in his country, teaching smart agriculture techniques and conducting workshops on sustainable agricultural practices, including appropriate pesticide application, planting alternative plant species as well as bookkeeping and recent market trends.

Stream 3: Sourcing Responsibly Grown Coffee

The third work stream follows naturally from the first two. By boosting certified/verified coffee production on one side, and supporting farmers through local projects and initiatives on the other, LDC contributes to increasing the production of responsibly grown coffee, whether certified or not.

Spreading sustainable practices throughout the coffee value chain, without excluding any farmer, is a key aim for LDC. To this end, and in collaboration with our sustainability, compliance, legal and coffee origination departments, we introduced LDC’s Coffee Supplier Code of Conduct in our five main origination countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico in 2015.

This document is based on LDC’s global Sustainability Policy and Group Code of Conduct, and aligned with International Labour Organization conventions, applicable local laws and regulations, as well as the various codes of conduct and sourcing policies developed by our customers.

The objective is not to exclude any farmers or suppliers, but rather to encourage them to commit to a long-term and continuous improvement process, supported on the ground by LDC.

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