K Group and Paulig join forces to promote sustainable coffee cultivation – 70,000 coffee plant seedlings to be planted in Nicaragua

K Group and Paulig are extending their collaboration to support the livelihood of coffee farmers and sustainable cultivation practices. The goal is to plant 70,000 new coffee plants at Paulig’s partner farms in Nicaragua. The customers of K grocery stores can take part in the project by buying Paulig’s Rainforest Alliance or UTZ-certified city coffee packages.

Climate change and the extreme weather phenomena caused by it are among the biggest threats to the availability of coffee in the future. To ensure the best harvest and the continuity of coffee farms, farms should replace around 20% of their coffee plants every year. Coffee plants are sensitive to heat and drought. For this reason, coffee plantations also need shade trees to protect the coffee plants from direct sunlight in order to ensure productivity. The cooperation project between K Group and Paulig involves planting both new coffee plants and shade trees in the country of origin.

“This cooperation supports coffee farmers in many ways. Planting new coffee plants is vital for the future and profitability of farms. By planting shade trees, we are able to improve biodiversity and increase carbon sinks to fight climate change. Shade trees also improve soil quality and curb erosion and water evaporation at plantations,” says Lea Rankinen, Director, Sustainability and Public Affairs at Paulig.

K Group and Paulig have been partners for a long time, and planting coffee plants in Nicaragua also supports both companies’ sustainability work and ambitious sustainability goals.

“Our goal is to curb climate change and prevent biodiversity loss in our own operations and value chain. The starting point for everything is to act sustainably in order to promote biodiversity and make it possible for our customers to enjoy a sustainable lifestyle,” says Timo Jäske, Sustainability Director for Kesko’s grocery trade division.

Involving the customers of K grocery stores in the planting project

K grocery store customers can support sustainable coffee cultivation by taking part in the stamp collecting campaign that starts on 1 October, International Coffee Day. By activating the campaign’s stamp card in the K-Ruoka mobile app and buying six of Paulig’s Rainforest Alliance or UTZ-certified city coffee packages, customers can get a seventh coffee package for free while also contributing to the planting of new coffee plants in Nicaragua.

“Finns are the biggest coffee lovers in the world, so every choice they make at the coffee shelf makes a difference. We want to provide an opportunity to influence the future of coffee through small everyday actions that also benefit the customer,” says Harri Hovi, SVP, Commerce and Sustainability at Kesko’s grocery trade division.

The stamp collecting campaign is available at K grocery stores until 31 December 2021, and the benefit can be used until 31 January 2022.

“The new and unique cooperation with K Group complements our long-term sustainability work and invites all coffee lovers to take part in the effort. Sustainability is concrete actions that can have an impact that reaches all the way to the coffees’ countries of origin. Over the years, Paulig has reached more than 100,000 coffee farmers through its partnership programmes,” says Lenita Ingelin, SVP, Business Area Finland & Baltics at Paulig.

Planting at coffee plantations will start in early 2022

Five years ago, Paulig established its own partnership programme in Nicaragua that involves dozens of family-owned small farms. The partner farms are located in the village of San Jose de la Luz. Around 90% of the village’s residents earn their livelihood from coffee. Paulig has also supported the local community before for example, through a school project and by building a coffee processing plant. The coffee from these partner farms, certified as sustainable by an independent third party, is used in products such as Paulig’s city coffees, which are roasted in a carbon-neutral roastery in Vuosaari.

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