EUDR Compliance for the Coffee Sector: It’s Time to Wake Up and Smell the (Sustainable) Coffee

Image of ripe coffee cherries still on the tree branch, ready for harvest, representing the freshness of coffee straight from the source.

From Vietnam to Cote D’Ivoire, the EU Deforestation Regulation signals a significant change for the coffee sector when it comes to sustainability practices, and trading in the EU. It will make eliminating deforestation from coffee supply chains compulsory, and require companies to prove their coffee was not the result of deforestation that took place after December 2020. The EU uses the latest satellite deforestation monitoring tools to verify compliance in near-real time, so the certifications that producers used to demonstrate their sustainability credentials in the past can’t be relied upon anymore.

Deforestation is the number one cause of emissions in the coffee sector, and with everyone’s favourite bitter bean’s future looking shaky due to the negative impacts of climate change, the sector’s primed to fight back. Smallholders produce up to 80% of the world’s coffee, so rolling out new best practices will require a sector-wide effort. The tools for the job will need to support the specific needs of various stakeholders throughout the coffee supply chain.


Stay Alert with Real-Time Satellite Deforestation Data

To comply with the EUDR, coffee companies will have to provide a due diligence statement confirming that every bean they export to the EU was not grown on deforested land.

This means monitoring systems will have to be agile and adaptable enough to keep track of supply chains where their coffee might pass through many hands and many stakeholders. To achieve this, they ought to opt for real-time monitoring of their supply chains and plantations, and combine that monitoring with up to date and trustworthy traceability data.

When combined with accurate traceability data, satellite data on deforestation risks in coffee supply chains allows companies to track products across the supply chain, build clear lines of accountability, engage with stakeholders using up to date and objective data, and keep shipments from being contaminated by non compliant supply.

Don’t learn about deforestation in your supply chain at the worst possible moment: when your coffee’s in customs. Delayed action on deforestation risks can cost companies dearly, with goods held up in customs or companies fined for non-compliance.

EUDR Compliance Case-Study: Neumann Kaffee Gruppe

Working with Satelligence, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe’s (NKG) main objective is to ensure their coffee is EUDR compliant. Satelligence’s near-real time forest loss observation services, provide NKG with a clear picture of its EUDR compliance status across sourcing areas. This data was used by NKG to create a jurisdictional risk assessment, to identify high and low risk deforestation areas. The flexibility offered by Satelligence’s tools means that NKG can control the data they upload, increasing efficiency and saving time.

“We were convinced of starting a partnership with Satelligence as they have a strong track record of tracking deforestation in several commodities.” 

– Lena Tippel, Head of Communications, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG)

NKG uses this bespoke remote sensing data and informative map layers to improve the accuracy of their deforestation mitigation data in Honduras and Uganda, minimising the need for expensive ground surveys. Alongside this, Satelligence’s commitment to tailor-made data privacy agreements help Neumann get suppliers to participate.

NKG’s Farmer Service Units also use the web app out in the field. It provides them with an intuitive way to visualise their own data, and receive relevant alerts about wildfires or other forest loss risks where producers are located. The platform is flexible enough that NKG can toggle between three different forest definitions, based on the level of human intervention. 

NKG established the Responsible Business Programme (RBG) to address the challenges the coffee industry currently faces. The programme provides a framework for the group’s overall sustainability efforts. Satelligence’s customisable and granular tools help NKG tackle the challenges of meeting their sustainability goals on the ground, and provide the data to prove their compliance with the EUDR.

Compliance And Commitments From Farm to Cup: Satelligence Makes it Simple

An essential part of building a comprehensive deforestation risk mitigation system, a Forest Loss Risk Index (FLRI) assessment gives an indication of which areas are at risk for future deforestation by looking at (recent) historical deforestation and the remaining forest cover. When Satelligence develops an FLRI for an area, they can map it on a pixel by pixel basis, rather than by existing farm boundaries. 

This also suits smallholder-dominated sectors like coffee, as the increased granularity means companies can monitor smaller plots of land in greater detail. Many companies have policies for smallholder inclusion, as well as deforestation mitigation and other wider ESG goals. Achieving adequate granularity in measuring deforestation risk is essential to ensure that, in a sector dominated by smallholders, those smallholders can participate and play their part in the sustainable transition, and not be excluded from the global marketplace. 

For NKG, this means they can help their farmers make a profit while complying with various global legal requirements and regulations, and to achieve a decent living income without them needing to compromise the environment that they live in.

Going beyond deforestation-free, the granularity and accessibility of the data allows smallholders to maximise land use by identifying opportunities for agroforestry. For the coffee sector, this enables them to transform their coffee into a socially inclusive net-positive.

“Satelligence gives us a one-stop solution to track forest loss risk in our supply chain.” 

– Lena Tippel, Head of Communications, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (NKG)

Sustainable Coffee Means Everyone Gets a Warm Cup

The accurate data and insight gleaned from Satelligence’s tools, and their sensitivity to the needs of different stakeholders is the glue that holds a deforestation-free coffee supply chain together. Building a more sustainable, long term relationship with growers will help traders to implement long-term deforestation solutions that will keep commodities deforestation free, and EUDR compliant, forever, and not just for an audit.

Satelligence monitors 6bn hectares per day, all around the globe. Its web-app ensures clients are always connected to their commodities. With real-time satellite data at your fingertips, you can target and time your interventions before deforestation costs you, and make sure your coffee shipments are deforestation-free before they hit the EU market.

Don’t be a “has-bean.” Set the standard for sustainable coffee.

Want to build a sustainable and inclusive coffee sector together? Book a free demo.