Case Study: Matthew Algie

Matthew Algie has pioneered the use of sustainability certifications in the UK's out-of-home coffee sector by introducing the first Fairtrade espresso blend in 1997.

In 2004, the roaster launched the UK's first triple-certified (Fairtrade, organic and Rainforest Alliance) espresso. However, to tackle specific economic, social and environmental challenges, the company also facilitates bespoke collaborations with farmers.

Certifications such as Fairtrade, organic and Rainforest Alliance, provide a baseline assurance that the coffee is being farmed in line with sustainable standards. As such, more than 90% of the coffee purchased by Matthew Algie has at least one certification and a significant proportion has multiple. The company is committed to maintaining this high standard and one effective means for doing so is to help existing suppliers gain certifications. To date, this collaborative approach has helped strengthen trading relationships and improve the sustainability of farming practices in countries such as India, Peru and Uganda.

Beyond certifications, Matthew Algie has strong relationships with key suppliers, visiting them and regularly communicating with them on quality, market trends and sustainability. In some instances, the roaster supports farmers with bespoke projects to address sustainability challenges. For instance, Matthew Algie has an on-going commitment to promoting climate change resilience with the San Juan del Oro cooperative in southern Peru. This partnership secured Gold in the prestigious 2degrees Champions Awards in 2015, further celebrating the company's commitments to pushing the boundaries of sustainable business.

To achieve its vision for “sustainable, shared, success” for the company and its stakeholders, Matthew Algie must look to the future. The company's 5-year sustainability goals set out what success looks like, pushing the company to stay at the forefront of innovation.

“There's a big connection between coffee beans, the prosperity of people, and the welfare of the planet which is why sustainability is a core principle of how we do business. Using the right certifications and working in partnership with farmers, we seek sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships from bean to cup”.

Amy Boardman, Sustainability Manager, Matthew Algie

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