Matthew Algie Case Study - Sustainable Supply Chains

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

Matthew Algie use certifications such as Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance to provide a baseline assurance that the coffee is being farmed in line with sustainable standards:

  • Fairtrade: Farmers get a fair price for their coffee and they receive a “social premium” to invest in community projects. The standard also focuses on good working conditions.
  • Organic: Farmers do not use unnecessary chemicals or pesticides. This has an impact on farm productivity in the short-term but farmers receive a price premium for being certified.
  • Rainforest Alliance: Biodiversity is being produced, rivers are kept clean and natural resources are conserved. Working conditions and labour standards are also kept in check. 

More than 90% of the coffee purchased by Matthew Algie has at least one certification and a significant proportion has multiple certifications. The company is committed to maintaining this high standard and one effective means for doing so is to help existing suppliers gain certifications.

This collaborative approach has helped strengthen trading relationships and improve the sustainability of farming practices.

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.

For more information see the Matthew Algie website.

“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 Oroko Sustainability Manager, Matthew Algie

Last reviewed: 05 Apr 2019