Through its unique value chain spanning “from cup to seed,” the UCC Group gives due consideration to not only quality but also to sustainability and the issues facing the coffee industry in promoting various initiatives and in the procurement of raw materials. And UCC defines this entire process as “UCC Quality.”
Since opening the directly-operated Blue Mountain coffee estate in Jamaica in 1981, UCC has been engaged in full-scale farming operations and by leveraging the expertise acquired through these operations, has been holding “Quality Contests” at the six coffee-producing countries, in an effort to enhance the quality of the coffee produced in each country, raise the standard of living of the producers and to ensure the stable supply of coffee. UCC is also involved in unique sustainability activities including forest conservation activities and the instruction of cultivation techniques in the coffee-producing countries.
Additionally, in Japan, UCC is supporting learning that incorporates the perspectives of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) by creating teaching materials on the theme of “Thinking about sustainable development based on the relationship of Japan with coffee-producing countries,” offering these materials to the junior high schools and high schools around the nation, and conducting classes. Furthermore, the UCC Coffee Academy is proactively promoting various initiatives including the holding of online seminars that present the activities of the coffee-producing countries.
① Directly-operated coffee estates (UCC Blue Mountain Coffee Craighton Estate in Jamaica and UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Estate)
② Contracted coffee estates (Brazil Natural Half Caffeine Laurina and Guatemala Geisha)
③ Quality Contests (Held in six countries – Brazil, Jamaica, Hawaii, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and China)
④ Forest conservation (Pursuit of a sustainable coffee cultivation model)
⑤ Rural and farming development (Establishing models for regional development and boosting the local economy)
⑥ Raising awareness and distributing information (Activities to raise awareness in order to foster the understanding of the consumers)
Based on these rules, UCC aims to further enhance the reliability and transparency of procurement in order to ensure the sustainable growth of the coffee industry, while at the same time promote responsible procurement together with our suppliers to contribute to solving the issues of the supply chain. Moreover, UCC employees with specialized expertise visit the countries and conduct periodic fact-finding investigations to promote responsible procurement activities.
Our commitment to excellence includes fulfilling responsible and ethical practices beyond legal compliance, which can inspire an open spirit of continuous improvement and support long term and sustainable business. To help communicate this commitment, we have developed our Responsible Procurement Principles, which will guide efforts and promote activities in both our own teams and our suppliers.
Four major principles of responsible procurement of UCC Group
Achieving our responsible business commitments and ambitions relies on our ability to incorporate our values, expectations and policies into our business activities. We have developed the UCC Group Supplier Code of Conduct to detail these expectations and help drive continuous improvement together. Through our phased engagement process, we will require our suppliers to acknowledge and commit to the Code, respecting its provisions and collaborating with us to ensure adherence.