Finnish retailer S Group has acquired sustainability certification for all its own-brand tea, coffee, and cocoa products.
The certification will help customers to make informed and responsible choices with their purchases, the retailer said.
S Group's grocery stores, comprising Prisma, S-market, Sale, Alepa, Food Market Delicacy, now offer own-brand coffee, tea, cocoa powder, and chocolate SKUs that are certified as responsible.
These include Fair Trade, UTZ, and Rainforest Alliance certifications for coffee, tea, and cocoa, with the fulfilment criteria monitored by third-party audits.
According to Anni Loukaskorpi, sustainability manager at the S Group's supermarket store, coffee, tea, and cocoa production is concentrated in countries where compliance and regulatory oversight may be weaker.
"The production of these raw materials can therefore be associated with high human rights and environmental risks. With the help of responsibility certifications, we ensure that both the employees and the environment have been respected in the production of the coffee, tea and cocoa we buy," Loukaskorpi added.
Products in the group's own-brand range include UTZ-certified Herkku Africa coffees, which represent a completely new operating model.
Its producer, the Kenyan African Coffee Roasters, is Africa’s first coffee roaster specialising in organic coffee.
The company buys coffee beans directly from farmers’ cooperatives and roasts and packs them directly into consumer packaging.
In this case, the majority of the work and the value of the work remain in the region of origin.
Sustainable Raw Materials
Elsewhere, the S Group has implemented measure to verify that raw materials, including palm oil, are responsibly sourced.
All palm oil used in the retailer's own-brand products, such as biscuits and pastries, is responsibly sourced and certified.
The criteria for the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification of palm oil require palm oil plantations to protect biodiversity in production and develop operations with better ethical and ecological criteria.