On Nov. 13, 2014, Sarah Beaubien, director of sustainability for Farmer Bros. Co. and a member of the board of directors of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), led a breakout session at ISSP’s 2014 conference in Denver.
The panel’s topic, “Building Resiliency in Supply Chain Communities: A New Hub for Thought Leadership, Investment, and Action,” is one close to Beaubien’s job and heart.
As Farmer Brothers’ representative for the Coffeelands Food Security Coalition, Beaubien, along with her fellow panelists—Jennifer Gallegos of Fair Trade USA and Mary Beth Cote-Jenssen of Water For People—profiled the challenging social and economic realities facing coffee-growing communities around the world, and offered the audience examples of emerging best practices that are designed to repair, encourage, and support survival and perpetuation of the coffee supply chain between growers and customers.
“When companies join together to identify the challenges, needs, and opportunities related to sustainability and economic resiliency in and around coffee communities, the results are a positive shift in their development trajectory,” Beaubien says. “When global coffee communities can thrive, there is reciprocity and the entire coffee industry benefits.”
In addition to her membership in one of the world’s leading associations for sustainability professionals, Beaubien is the prime mover and public face of Farmer Brothers’ sustainability initiatives, directing the company’s efforts to invest in the biodiversity of coffeelands, building the strength of grower communities, and planning for the long-term health of the planet.
“Encouraging the production of high-quality, responsibly grown coffee is a key part of a well-balanced sustainability model,” she says. “Farmer Brothers’ coffee buying philosophy aims to build a responsible coffee supply chain and create long-term solutions that benefit the growers, sellers, and buyers.”