KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has pledged to serve Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee on all its flights, a first for any European airline.
KLM, which serves more than 22 million cups of coffee every year, will get at least 30 percent of its beans from coffee farms that have met the Rainforest Alliance’s strict set of environmental and social standards.
Tensie Whelan, executive director of the Rainforest Alliance, calls the commitment progressive, and says, “The volumes of coffee the company purchases will have a positive impact on the lives of farmers who are doing the right thing — managing their farms in environmentally and socially sound ways.”
KLM joins two other airlines that are already serving Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee to their passengers. Asiana Airlines in Korea began serving certified coffee on business class flights earlier this year and All Nippon Airways (ANA) in Japan began serving Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee to individuals in its lounges in 2005.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee served on KLM comes from shaded coffee farms in the highlands of Colombia and the cerrado region of Brazil, a vast savanna dotted with scattered trees. Because this ecosystem is rapidly disappearing, it is critical that people of this region earn their living in a sustainable way that conserves biodiversity.