In thinking about Coca-Cola products, it is doubtful that consumers first think of juice. But, maybe they should. The Coca-Cola Company markets many juice products through popular brands like Minute Maid®, Odwalla®, and Simply Juice Drinks®, as well as many localized favorites. As Coca-Cola aims to grow its global juice business significantly by 2020, sustainably sourcing fruit for its juice products becomes increasingly important.
“In developed markets, we’re seeing the premium juice business growing and in developing countries, there’s an elevated demand for juice products. We’re working hard to expand the sourcing of our fruit, and to sustainably source our five key fruit ingredients—lemon, orange, mango, apple, and grape,” said Eduardo Garza, Director of Global Juice Procurement, The Coca-Cola Company. “Some of our most successful sustainable agriculture projects are related to our fruit sourcing, with shared value presenting for economies, environment, farmers and our business. And we’re seeing great progress toward our 2020 sustainable sourcing goal in the fruits category, particularly when it comes to lemon.”
Coca-Cola estimates to have reached 54 percent of its goal to sustainably source its lemon by 2020. Half of Coca-Cola’s lemon is sourced from Argentina, with 90 percent of the country’s supply for Coca-Cola sustainably sourced. What we mean by ‘sustainably sourced’ is that our farm suppliers meet certain standards we set for them, among other things, relating to human and workplace rights, environmental protection, and responsible farming management, otherwise known as our Company’s Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles (SAGP).
Coca-Cola is Argentina's top fruit juice buyer. In 2014, the company purchased USD $245 million in locally produced juice and byproducts, totaling more than 37,000 tons of juice concentrate and high-quality orange, lemon, grapefruit, apple, grape, pear and peach byproducts. Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent committed to tripling the company’s purchases of concentrate orange juice in Argentina over the next 10 years.
Citrus and mango are the major fruit focuses in Africa, where Coca-Cola is supporting economic development through Source Africa, an initiative to advance sustainable and financially viable supply chains of key Coca-Cola agricultural ingredients. Work focuses on building sustainable mango production in Kenya and Malawi, and advancing citrus and pineapple production in Nigeria.
Source Africa builds on Coca-Cola’s successful Project Nurture, a partnership with nonprofit TechnoServe and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to double the average income of 50,000 small-scale mango and passion fruit farmers in Uganda and Kenya, and help them connect into Coca-Cola’s supply chain.
There, overcoming farming challenges and strengthening the local and regional value chain drove demand for locally grown fruit. For Coca-Cola this resulted in reduced costs, lead times and risks, and, for smallholder farmers, increased incomes. Farmers involved in Project Nurture increased their net revenue by 142 percent, and importantly, moved toward a life without poverty. We are also partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation through its YieldWise initiative to reduce post-harvest loss, starting in our mango supply chain in Kenya.
Coca-Cola Europe’s Grove-to-Glass Regional Manager of Juice Procurement, Venera Raffa, says, “As the global lead for lemon purchases, I am proud of our progress to date. Working toward our sustainable sourcing goal can cultivate many economic opportunities for farmers and communities and benefit our environment. And, it’s good for our business. But the benefits beyond our four walls are what are truly important for our world.”
Sustainably sourcing fruits is part of Coca-Cola’s larger system-wide goal, set in 2013, to sustainably source its priority ingredients by 2020. Coca-Cola priority ingredients include cane and beet sugar, high fructose corn syrup, stevia, tea, coffee, oranges, lemons, grapes, apples, mangos, pulp and paper fiber for packaging, palm oil and soy.
Learn more about The Coca-Cola Company’s Sustainable Agriculture program. Read YieldWise’s case study, “Building a Better Food System in Africa Through Shared Value Partnerships,” focused on the potential to achieve positive social and economic impact by addressing post-harvest food loss.