Annie's Research


  1. IKEA

UTZ Certified Coffee - IKEA. 

IKEA is the world’s largest furniture retailer and a supplier of household appliances and accessories. IKEA has a location in the East Bay in Emeryville (4400 Shellmound St, Emeryville, CA 94608). In addition to its coffee tables, coffee makers, and coffee mugs, IKEA contains both a restaurant and a marketplace in its stores which sells coffee itself. According to its website, IKEA’s coffee beans are UTZ Certified, a label that recognizes sustainable farming and provides a program with opportunities for farmers. This includes an “appropriate and modest use of fertilizers, pesticides, water and energy” as well as “labor rights, housing, and healthcare” for workers. IKEA’s website also provides a tracer function for consumers to trace the source of their coffee beans, which provides a more personal interaction with the UTZ Certified label.


2. Peet’s Coffee

Responsible Sourcing | Peet’s Coffee. 

Peet’s Coffee is a Bay-Area centered coffee supplier, with around 20 shops in the East Bay. Peet’s Coffee serves as an excellent example for the sustainable coffee industry with four certifications: Organic, Fair Trade, UTZ, and Rainforest Alliance. With its Fair Trade certification, Peet’s Coffee forms direct relationships with and pays coffee bean producers at or above the Fair Trade Certified brand price. In accordance with the Organic certification, the company also “ensures that the coffee was grown using sustainable, low-impact practices, with organic fertilizers and minimal use of agricultural

Chemicals.” The UTZ certification ensures that farmers are educated and provided with opportunities, in addition to social, environmental, and economically sustainable practices. The Rainforest Alliance certification also works to ensure “sustainable living” and conserve biodiversity. As one of the first sustainable coffee companies in the Bay Area Peet’s Coffee, Peet’s Coffee continues to adhere to its values in providing quality coffee from just sources.


3. McDonald’s

Coffee | McDonald’s.

As one of the most recognizable fast-food chains, McDonald’s is using its influence to promote sustainably sourced coffee with its UTZ Certification. McDonald’s is also Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade Certified, and provides a program known as McCafe Sustainability Improvement Platform to help farmers implement sustainable practices. With the program and certifications, the company practices direct trade with coffee bean suppliers and provides training and tools for them. It has also set multiple goals, such as making coffee the first sustainable agriculture product, which includes protection of the environment and support for farmers’ communities. McDonald’s also composts coffee grounds in its goal to eliminate waste.


4. Taco Bell

Premium Hot Coffee | Taco Bell. 

Taco Bell, an American fast-food chain that serves Tex-Mex style cuisine, has numerous locations in the East Bay and nationwide. In terms of coffee, they offer a sustainably sourced, premium coffee that is Rainforest Alliance Certified. The coffee beans are sourced are grown to “benefit farm families, wildlife, and the environment,” while supporting “stronger forests and healthy communities.” Their web page description includes this information in a humorous anecdote, which promotes the purchase of this certified coffee. With over 7,000 locations, their method of coffee bean sourcing sets an excellent example for other fast-food industries and coffee chains, proving that it is possible to serve sustainably sourced coffee on a large scale.


5. Oakland Coffee Works & San Francisco Bay Coffee

“Oakland Coffee And San Francisco Bay Coffee Have Come Together.” Rogers Family Coffee, 28 Oct. 2016

Oakland Coffee Works and San Francisco Bay Coffee have partnered up to create “organic coffee in fully compostable packaging” which will be sold in four Bay Area Costco stores,, and These companies take sustainability in the coffee industry a step further. Oakland Coffee Works coffee is sustainably sourced as organic and fairly traded, in addition to its eco-friendly packaging. The company also established the organization “Fueled By Love,” which provides funding and infrastructure for farming communities where the coffee is grown. San Francisco Bay Coffee Company also promotes direct trade, a method that eliminates the middleman in obtaining coffee beans and allows coffee suppliers to directly interact with the farmers themselves. These two companies individually have already exemplified sustainable methods of sourcing, and their combined effort to retail coffee beans in compostable packaging leads the way in the fourth wave of coffee supply.


6. Equator Coffees & Teas

“Chain Of Well-Being.” Equator Coffees & Teas

Equator Coffees & Teas is a notable coffee supplier in the Bay Area with one location in Oakland and numerous in San Francisco. Most of the coffee is sourced through direct trade, from “growers who practice responsible land stewardship and sustainable farming techniques.” As a coffee roaster, Equator also uses a Loring Smart Roaster which “reduces carbon emissions by 80%.” In addition, all their coffee grounds are composted, and their transportation vehicles are biodiesel-fueled or hybrid vehicles. Equator demonstrates how there are multiple areas in coffee sourcing, processing, and waste-removal which can be made more sustainable and that it is the combined effect of small changes which ultimately makes a large impact.