The future. We do not know that much about it or what it will look like. But there is one thing we know for sure; it is coming. Faster than we imagine. Actually, there is one more thing. We know that the decisions we make and what we do today affect the future and how it will be. I believe it is an opportunity we have to make the most of.
Today, it is impossible not to think of Greta Thunberg when contemplating the future and the coming generations. Less than a year ago, the then-unknown fifteen-year-old girl initiated a school strike for the climate every Friday outside the Swedish Parliament. One single girl with a clear message: you grownups are stealing our future. Today, her initiative #FridaysforFuture has spread all over the world. On March 15 this year, 1.4 million students were on strike in 112 countries around the world. Respect.
What Greta and all other young people are trying to get us to understand is that we have to stop ignoring the fact that we are living in a climate crisis and that we have to act. It applies to us in the coffee industry too, of course. There is no doubt that the climate crisis affects our line of business. I would even say that it is one of our greatest challenges.
When we visit those who deliver coffee to us at Löfbergs, we can see with our own eyes how climate change is making it harder to make a living as a coffee farmer, and that it makes fewer young people see a future in coffee. A threat against the supply of good coffee in the future. That is why we started the initiative Next Generation Coffee, where we through education and direct trade improve the development possibilities for the next generation of coffee farmers. One important part of the initiative is knowledge and tools for more sustainable farming methods.
But that is not enough, of course. The climate crisis, Greta Thunberg and the next generation of consumers demand and expect more.
At Löfbergs, we are always trying to reduce our environmental impact. Both in the producing countries and at home. We purchase coffee from certified farms and transport it by boat and train all the way in to our roasting house. We focus on energy efficiency, use renewable energy and develop more climate-smart packaging. And we are trying to make it easy for the consumer to make sustainable choices.
At the same time, I think that we who work with coffee have a unique opportunity to contribute to a positive future. We work with a product that means a lot to a whole lot of people. Both farmers and consumers. About 25 million people support themselves and their families on farming coffee. We drink approximately 1.4 billion cups of coffee each day around the world. Every little step we take towards a more sustainable production makes a difference.
We and others in the business need to have a sustainable mindset in everything we do. Why? Because we neither want nor have the right to steal the future for the next generation.
The text was first published as a guest article in Probat Magazine in the summer of 2019. Probat is the world market leader in machinery and systems for the coffee industry