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Building a Resilient Supply Chain

The world is changing quickly, with technological advances, economic insecurity, and a changing climate all converging to alter the global landscape. In our agricultural and manufacturing supply chains alike, these changes can lead to uncertainty, instability, and, at times, great individual hardship. At Keurig Green Mountain, we are actively engaged in addressing the challenges within our supply chain communities by leveraging the relationships and influence we have with our direct suppliers and looking for opportunities to effect positive change through further investments into those communities. 
We have committed to a pair of targets that we believe will substantially enhance the resiliency of our supply chain. These targets, which we aim to achieve by 2020, are as follows:

  • Engage 1 million people in our manufacturing and agriculture supply chains to significantly improve their livelihoods.
  • Source 100% of primary agricultural and manufactured products according to established Keurig Green Mountain responsible sourcing guidelines.
During 2013, we expanded our responsible sourcing program, which previously focused on our manufacturing supply chain, into our agricultural supply chains. Going forward, we will assess our key agricultural suppliers to evaluate their social and environmental practices. The release of our updated Supplier Guidelines will be a key tool to shape this work.

Our Supply Chain

Our commitment to producing coffees that deliver the richest aromas and flavors begins at the start of the sourcing process. The quality of our coffee is directly related to the quality of the relationships we build with coffee farmers around the world.

Our manufacturing supply chain is very different from our agricultural supply chain. But whether farm or factory, our approach remains consistent: we engage with suppliers directly and build trusting relationships through long-term commitments.

Through our supply chain outreach efforts, we work to provide our suppliers, their employees and families, and their communities with the skills and tools to meet the challenges that may lie ahead. We aim to build a foundation of resilience that will benefit these communities while simultaneously strengthening our business in the years to come.

One area of focus for us is water stewardship. Enhanced water stewardship in the supply chain will, in part, increase resiliency. In fiscal 2014, we will identify water risks and promote responsible water stewardship as a core practice across our supply chain. We will also assist supply chain communities in expanding and maintaining access to clean water for those who live and work near the farms and factories that produce our agricultural ingredients, brewers, and related components.

Our broad-scale, holistic outreach efforts cover a wide range of needs. We offer immediate aid for disaster relief and recovery, such as providing support for rebuilding after a natural disaster. We look beyond the work site — whether farm or factory — to fund longer-term community development that enables resiliency in the face of complex social and environmental challenges that can make even the most successful business stumble. 

We pride ourselves on being connected to our supplier communities and on developing long-term relationships that build trust and produce the highest-quality products. Our people are talking to farmers in their fields, walking the factory floors, and collaborating with in-country development partners who understand local needs. In this way, we engage and build relationships with the individuals who help us grow our business and simultaneously drive responsible practices. However diverse our work, our supply chain approach remains consistent to maximize success. We listen to local voices to identify the most pressing social, economic, and environmental needs and collaborate to find the best solutions. We also partner with suppliers and nonprofit organizations to fund high-impact development projects.

This section focuses on our work to build resiliency on farms and in factories and highlights the continued progression and refinement of our Supplier Guidelines and responsible sourcing program. 

Intercambio Events

One way that Keurig Green Mountain works to strengthen our relationships with our suppliers, and create higher-quality products in the process, is through the use of Intercambio events. Intercambio (“exchange” in Spanish) events offer an innovative platform for Keurig Green Mountain to convene all of our value chain stakeholders (producers, lenders, exporters, importers, certifiers, nongovernmental organizations and others) from our supplying countries to discuss the previous harvest and plan for the next harvest. During these meetings, we talk about quality standards, conduct business reviews, address challenges, and celebrate our successes. These events are an efficient way to manage our business in a particular country and highlight the importance of transparency and collaboration in a face-to-face setting. To date, Keurig Green Mountain has hosted Intercambio gatherings in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Sumatra, and Nicaragua, and we are planning more in 2014.