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March 11, 2021      2 Minute Read


Third-Party Verification that Leads to Action

Carlos Morales

Country Manager Guatemala and El Salvador

 

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Before I worked in the coffee industry, I would buy coffee either at a café choosing whatever blend they happened to be showcasing, or at the supermarket shelf choosing the bag that most caught my eye. Since I started my Caravela journey as Country Manager in Guatemala and El Salvador, though, I understand where coffee comes from, like those genealogical DNA test that reveal your roots and heritage, but even more fun. Yes, fun; but also fascinating, enriching, and best of all, it led me to a place where my passion for continuous improvement intersects with supporting and having a positive impact on people.

Measuring the impact of all Caravela projects is imperative to understanding not just whether a project is yielding results, but also if the community is benefitting of such implementation and having an impartial partner is pivotal to the improvement plan. In Guatemala, we have found a perfect collaborator for this cause: Enveritas, a non-profit organization whose values and sustainability approach align perfectly with ours. Together, we want to have an organization with an objective view that helps us create and maintain a responsibly sourced supply chain, focusing on compliance with sustainable goals and constant improvement. They are guiding and auditing to ensure we can measure our compliance with sustainability goals against their verification standards, through a systematic, independent process, examining the traceability for every coffee we purchase in Guatemala. With this independent verification, we will be able to identify successes and challenges, and create concrete action plans for projects that are community-specific taking into consideration critical points that come from a real and unbiased context.

We are confident that this approach will have a greater benefit for producers we work with in Guatemala, their communities, and the entire coffee industry. Enveritas will be key to providing support for measuring progress regionally, and comparing outcomes to the projected results, in which data will be reported constantly on activities and key indicators. Each project will allow us to go step by step with the farmers through PECA (Growers’ Education Program) to help them achieve sustainable goals.

The best part is that we will be able to offer free sustainability verification for both coffee roasters and producers, with an emphasis on environmental protection and social responsibility areas like child labor, minimum wage compliance, soil conservation, sustainable production, and quality improvement. In addition, we will have visibility on more standards if needed like traceability, transparent pricing, and access to training, which are already embedded in our processes.

Planning, however, is not enough. Establishing a way to comply and reach these goals is imperative. No company is perfect, but identifying our weaknesses triggers our commitment to always be better. We know that to Make Coffee Better we need to work with other actors in the industry. If we all work together, we can accomplish our mission of strengthening coffee’s power to bear fruit in the lives of growers, consumers, and everyone in between. That’s why we searched for an ally with our same values, principles and passions that could meet us honestly, directly, and objectively to help us pursue perfection.

Always loving where this journey takes us, working together making coffee better.

 

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