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Coffee brands that want to remain relevant adopt sustainability to drive coffee growth in 2020.

Coffee has fuelled people's mornings for hundreds of years, and like other fuels, it comes with its own unique environmental issues. As one of the largest agricultural commodities in the world, the consumption of coffee has a huge impact on both those who produce it and the environment in which it is produced. Coffee brands who want to remain relevant in 2020 and beyond, should adopt fair trade practices in coffee purchasing.

“Consumers are looking for ways to cultivate conscientious coffee habits, and they’re expecting their favourite brands to follow suit. Growth areas for coffee will be directly or indirectly influenced by the general trend towards sustainability,” says Jonathan Robinson, founder of Bean There Coffee Company, South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee.

Moving into 2020, Robinson predicts growth in four key areas of the coffee scene:

Coffee tourism: Rising interest in coffee origins and café culture, fuelled by social media, has made coffee a destination on its own. Moving forward, we’re likely to see entire tours planned around tasting coffees not only in cafes around the world, but at the farms where the beans are grown. In the same way that people are interested in visiting wine farms, a similar business model is unfolding in coffee.

Micro lots: A subsequent impact of coffee tourism is growth in the micro lot market. A micro lot is a specially selected and processed lot of coffee that has outstanding quality and a very distinct flavour profile. While the price of micro lot coffee is higher, growing appreciation for coffee means people are prepared to pay more for traceable coffee with interesting flavour profiles.

Milk alternatives: The plant-based milks niche has already seen huge growth – in 2019, almond milk officially took over from soy as the most popular milk alternative in cafes. It’s not only a matter of making plant-based choices, milk alternatives are also perceived as a healthier alternative to full-fat milk. As these products become more refined, more people will choose them over regular milk.

Home barista: Bean There reports that 2019 was their best year in terms of selling equipment for home coffee-making, including automated and manual machines and home barista courses. This is a result of a growing appreciation for speciality coffee and a realisation that good coffee can be made at home. Home coffee is a huge growth space for 2020 because it allows consumers to avoid the disappointment of drinking average coffee when their favourite coffee spot is closed.

Bean There Coffee Company, is South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee. They follow the Direct Fair Trade model, which makes the fair payment for coffee a priority, and protects small producers from exploitation. Bean There’s coffees are ethically sourced from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and Kenya. As the first roaster of DRC coffee in South Africa, their DRC Virunga coffee is 100% Ecocert Organic Certified, along with their Ethiopia Sidamo.

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