1 Sustainable Coffee Supply Chain A Monitoring-Approach Bastian Behrens, Nadine Dembski, and Georg Müller-Christ Department of Sustainable Management, University of Bremen, Wilhelm Herbst Str. 12, Bremen, Germany Abstract: First grade coffee beans are sensitive goods. This is due to the fact that their reproduction is jeopardized by ecological and social depletion in the countries of production. The continued availability of coffee can thus only be guaranteed if all actors of the coffee supply chain act in a sustainable way. That is, the inherent rules of each actor working in the value creation chain needs to be preserved and the ability of reproduction of the resources needs to be conserved. I. INTRODUCTION In the discussion about sustainable development these coherences are often debated having conflicting goals between single actors and are commonly reduced to the contradictions of ecological, economic and social goals. The understanding of conflicting goals is based on the fact that they can be solved according to the conflict terminology -. Opposed to this idea is the perception that the conflicts created in the context of sustainability are not temporarily solvable, but instead are antagonisms which need to be seen as contradictions and need to be treated as such. Based on the different perceptions of the interaction of ecology, economy and social responsibility, an application of a monitoring concept is presented in this work. This paper shows how one can deal with the controversial goals which are strived by the actors. Coffee, as a renewable resource, is mainly cultivated in South countries and processed in North countries and offers a wide spectrum of controversial requirements. The value creation chain of coffee is thus used as an example application. The goal of this commitment is to present an approach to the improved handling of the controversial goals of the sustainable value creation chain of coffee, using process monitoring as its foundation. At first the contradictions are explained and the monitoring process is introduced as a method to cope with these multiple contradicting objectives (chapter 2). Subsequently a sustainable coffee supply chain is developed with the resource perspectives in mind (Chapter 3). The monitoring process for the value creation chain of coffee is presented exemplarily in chapter 4. Finally, the results of using the proposed monitoring process to solve the conflicting goals will be presented in chapter 5. II. SUSTAINABILITY AND CONTRADICTIONS A three dimensional comprehension of sustainability in economy, politics as well as in science is well established . The ecological, economic and social dimensions are emphasized differently though. Unfortunately, difficulties emerge with the implementation of the general principle of sustainable development. This is due to the fact that achievement of all the objectives of the three dimensions, environmental protection, social equity and economic success at the same time has proven to be a complicated task. The realization of this intent is only possible in a few selected cases. It is not the main purpose of the science of sustainable development to demonstrate these rare win-win-win situations. Rather, the point of interest is to analyse how ecological, economic and social goals can be attained even if such controversial interrelations exist. A. Inherent rules of the dimensions of sustainability By showing the inherent rules of the dimensions of sustainability the contradictions of the goals can be clarified: - The lasting existence of nature requires an operative reproduction process on the basis of the laws of nature. - The lasting existence of the economy requires a steady growth due to the inherent rules of the financial markets. - The lasting existence of society demands more and more social equity and justice in complex processes of exchange . The understanding of resource exchange relations reveals immanent dependencies of the three dimensions of sustainability . Nature is not only a resource for the economy but also for our society. The economy generates income as well as products with these resources and can be seen as a source for the striving of our society. Nature as a Economics as a Figure 1: Exchange . Society as a Nevertheless, there is no exchange of resources from society and economy to nature. Considering the restrictions that the dimensions of sustainability apply to each other the actors of the economy for example can t maximize their profits and stick to their economic basis. The renewal of the resources goes at the expense of the profit . Both goals can t be maximised at the same time. Prioritising the first always has a decrease of importance of the second as a consequence. A logical contradiction can be observed. To stay capable of acting and taking decisions despite the controversial requirements in the context of sustainability, a constructive handling is important. Hence, not just to solve the conflicting goals but to go beyond is essential.
2 B. Concept for a sustainability-monitoring process A way of approaching the multidimensionality and the contradictions of the sustainability dimensions is by a systematic monitoring process . In such an approach the decisions of the actors concerning their dedication to do something for the sustainability of the coffee supply chain are visualised over a certain lapse of time. The controversial objectives that arise herein are then tackled by sequencialisation. Systems behave rational if the impact of their handling of their own sources is rethought through feedback. Complex cause-and-effect-chains need to be evaluated ex ante because the impacts of one s handling are not deterministic and a big time lag can occur. The monitoring process thus enables to visualise decisions in the context of sustainability. The decisions are allocated in salutogenetical as well as pathogenetical monitoring fields which permit to draw conclusions about the dedication of the actors in the three dimensions of sustainability. The ideal monitoring process takes place in four steps : 1. Identification of the dedication for sustainability. 2. Allocation of the dedications to the monitoring fields. 3. Evaluation: allocation of dedication points. 4. Documentation of the evaluation process. The synchronicity of controversial requirements as part of the principle of sustainability is weakened when taking into account the lapse of time in which the monitoring process takes place. This is due to the fact that achieving the goals of sustainability is seen and evaluated as asynchronous in the time elapsed. III. THE SUSTAINABLE COFFEE SUPPLY CHAIN More than 25 million people cultivate coffee worldwide, and North Americans annually consume an average of 64 liters per person . Exporters, importers, agents, roasters, distributors, retailers and a lot of other actors are members of the chain connecting coffee farmers and coffee consumers. Coffee is after crude oil the second most important export good . Several national economies are dependent on this resource. In Burundi (Africa) the coffee export constitutes 79 percent of the entire export. In Ethiopia it represents 54 percent and in Uganda 43 . A. Exchange relations of resources in the Coffee Supply Chain The global coffee supply chain system serves its different subsystems as a continuous value creating source. cultivating transporting : Exchange Relation processing trading Figure 2: The Global Coffee Supply Chain. consuming The actors of the global coffee supply chain exchange among each other the material and immaterial resources. These are for example: coffee berries, coffee beans, products of roasted coffee, funds in different currencies, natural energies and resources as well as values and standards for a good cohabitate and a good collaboration. If the actors of the coffee supply chain are consistent with their sources, they receive the resources they need for self preservation in return. The actors of the coffee supply chain - respectively their subsystems - are dependent on a constant inflow of resources. This is necessary to stay competitive, to achieve one s goals and to serve social purposes. The actors, as representatives of their respective subsystems, need to develop the sensitivity required for long term exchange relations to last. This includes an understanding for the inherent rules of the other participating actors, their subsystems and the transferred resources. An existence-threatening withdrawal of resources can thus be avoided (e.g. the withdrawal of funds by consumers). In Luhmans words: Ein System verhält sich im Umgang mit seinen Umwelten dann rational, wenn es seine Einwirkungen auf die Umwelt an den Rückwirkungen auf es selbst kontrolliert . [A system behaves rational in contact with its surroundings if the impacts of the system on the environment are controlled through feedback.] The coffee supply chain becomes sustainable as soon as the actors feel as a part of a resource network whose members mutually invest in the continuity of its partners to ensure their own survival and further development. Such an act corresponds to the economic rationality. The following constituted in former times and still is today the core of the comprehension of sustainability: The balanced relation of consumption and supplies of all resources necessary to a system. It was Aristotle who influenced the European comprehension of keeping house and goods (oikos) in a provident way. In 1713, the Saxonian Oberberghauptmann of Carlowitz introduced the expression sustainability in connection with the sustainable management of German forests. The fact that sustainability is nowadays a topic of conversation again may be derived from the growing awareness that the resources one depends on will not be to one's disposal automatically. Accordingly, a coffee supply chain, whose actors conserve their material and immaterial sources, invest in the reproduction of the vital resources and reduce the negative effects on their partners of the network as far as possible, transforms to a sustainable coffee supply chain. The result of this is that the cooperation in this resource network of the coffee supply chain needs to convert from a market-oriented and strategic collaboration to a collaboration of partnership. Examples of market-oriented cooperation are logistic relations between the consumers and the suppliers and relations between producers and users. These are characterised by having few actors, a minimum of confidence and an incoherent collaboration and control mechanism which is very close to the market. Typical of strategic cooperation is that they take into account the interest of the cooperation partners to maximise the
3 realisation of their own goals. The cooperation in partnership is influenced by the market-oriented as well as the strategic mechanisms. Furthermore they attempt to balance the existing gap of power between network partners by applying the principals of fairness. The interest of sources that are not able to articulate, like the natural environment and future generations for example, are also considered in this type of cooperation . other Actors Actor 5 Actor 1 4Cs Actor 2 Actor 3 Actor 1 Actor 4 other Actors Actor 2 Figure 4: 4C as an Intermediate NGO of the Coffee Supply Chain. Actor 5? Actor 4 Actor 3 Figure 3: The Actors of the Coffee Supply Chain and their Exchange Relations (). A common goal for actors cooperating in a partnership is the development of a collective good. In case of the coffee supply chain this collective good consists of theoretical knowledge about the practical realisation of exchange relations of resources to guarantee a continuous production of socio-ecological and economic first grade coffee products. B. Collaboration in the Coffee Supply Chain To generate this collective good, an intensive exchange between the actors about the inherent rules of their subsystems is necessary. Normally, only actors involved in the direct resource exchange are linked to each other. An authority, that mediates and interconnects between all actors of the coffee supply chain seems to be missing: Da eine solche Managementaufgabe in einem relativ dynamischen und vielschichtigen Umfeld zu bewerkstelligen ist, bedarf es hier trotz aller EDVtechnischen Automatisierungsmöglichkeiten eines leibhaftigen Intermediärs, der einer solchen Koordinationsaufgabe gerecht wird . [Given that such a management task has to be accomplished in a relative dynamic and complex environment, an incarnated intermediary is necessary to satisfy such a coordination task and this despite all possibilities of automation by computer applications.] This intermediary could be a non-governmental organisation. NGO s are organisations that are formally structured; organisationally independent of the government in the meaning that it is not a public institution; they are usually non-profit organisations which represent the public interest as a proxy and by the purpose of lobbying. Further NGO s are selfadministrated; they gain a portion of their funding by donations and are supported by volunteers . The Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C) that evolved out of an initiative of the German and European coffee industry is such an intermediary NGO for the global coffee supply chain. Producers and their merging, trade unions, NGOs, commercial and industrial companies as well as their associations and governmental organisations are participating. In the context of this 4C- NGO the actors of the coffee supply chain deliberate on how to organise the different resource exchange relations to guarantee the continuity of all subsystems involved. Until now, NGOs like Oxfam, Greenpeace or the Rainforest Alliance were primarily focused on the lobbying role for subsystems of the coffee supply chain which were not able to articulate or were powerless (e.g. the natural environment or the coffee farmers). A new type of NGO arises here an intermediary management NGO, which represents everyone and which observes the welfare of the whole system. On conferences the 4Cmanagement assembles the representatives of all actors. Together they determine economic, ecological and social indicators for sustainable coffee and define the monitoring instances. Gottschick et al. claim: Hierfür sollte der Intermediär einerseits mit hinreichenden Macht- und Fachkompetenzen ausgestattet sein, andererseits aber auch über breites Vertrauen verfügen, das zum gemeinsamen Beschreiten ungewisser Wege vor allem dann zwingend erforderlich ist, wenn die Kontrollkosten niedrig gehalten werden müssen (...) Wichtig ist darüber hinaus, dass der Intermediär für die Vergemeinschaftung von Gruppen wichtige Kompetenzen eindeutig besitzt. Hierzu zählen Dialogund Kommunikationsfähigkeit, Monitoring- und Mediationskompetenzen sowie die Rekursivität als die Fähigkeit zur Entwicklung von Handlungsstrategien unter Berücksichtigung der Rückwirkungen auf die Beteiligten und andere mehr . [Therefore the intermediary should on the one hand possess sufficient leadership skills and professional competencies, and on the other hand he should possess large confidence. This is absolutely necessary to break new and uncertain grounds together, especially if the control costs need to be kept down (...). Furthermore, it is important that the intermediary possesses important competencies for the collectivisation of groups. This includes dialog ability and communication skills, monitoring and mediation competencies as well as the ability to develop strategies, which take the repercussions on the participants and others into account.]
4 IV. MONITORING OF THE SUSTAINABLE COFFEE SUPPLY CHAIN The indicators of sustainability play an important role for the significance and the transparency of the monitoring-process. The scientific discussion about the composition, the selection and the emphasis of the appropriate indicators will not be elaborated here ,. Unlike the existing monitoring systems, namely the syndrome approach  and the Need Field Approach -, the presented approach is based on the monitoring of the dedication for sustainability. In a first step, the dedication for sustainability is identified. Afterwards, salutogenetical and pathogenetical monitoring fields are distinguished which originate from the psychology of health. The aim of this approach is to explain which kind of system generates morbid effects (pathogenetical perception) but also to explain which health keeping respectively wholesome effects (salutogenetical view) are produced by certain actions for a system using system theory. The evaluation of the dedication for sustainability is a challenge for the monitoring process and can be seen as the main task of the intermediary NGO. A. Identification of the dedication for sustainability For the identification of the dedication for sustainability it is necessary that the resource flow within the coffee supply chain is adequately implemented. Furthermore it is important that a basic understanding about how the single sources work exists. 1. The economic dimension - ensure efficiency To receive the financial resources that are needed for the future, the actors of the coffee supply chain depend on improving their efficiency. To attain this efficiency goal the coffee farmers have to cultivate first grade coffee berries. The carriers have to transport the coffee beans fast and safe across the world. The big roasteries of the industrial countries have the challenge to make coffee products out of the delivered raw materials and to advertise those to the customers. At the end of the chain is the consumer who has to pay a reasonable price for the consumed coffee product to assure that all other actors of the coffee supply chain can also profit. The economic efficiency of the whole coffee supply chain is long-lasting guaranteed by a continuous observation of disturbing and encouraging factors. An example of the coffee supply chain would be a high unemployment rate of coffee farmers and qualitative lowgrade beans as well as the decrease of the coffee consumption. All these factors challenge the effectiveness of the coffee supply chain. If this happens the actors of the coffee supply chain may face a decrease of the monetary funds of the consumers (when the quality deteriorates) or a retraction of the legitimisation by the society (when high unemployment exists). In return monitoring fields can be found that have a positive influence on the efficiency of the coffee supply chain. For example the investments in research and development and the investments in further education and in the product technology of the coffee farmers to achieve a quality improvement as well as to realise marketing measures of the coffee industry to increase the sales. 2. The social dimension common organising of the coffee supply chain In the social dimension of the sustainable coffee supply chain it is important to conserve the social resource basis of all participating subsystems. That means a peaceful habitat and a successful collaboration of all actors of the coffee supply chain. Each member of the value creation chain, whether a coffee farmer, a coffee roaster, a retailer or a consumer should participate in the value creation of the coffee supply chain according to his workload. Exploitation, fraud, the exploitation of market power and the restrictions of access to the market are exemplary factors which disturb the sustainability in the social dimension. Justice and equal opportunities, participation, investments in the development of the coffee farmers, in the health- and the risk provision, in the compatibility of professional life and education in the producing countries, as well as the enabling of realising both career and family in the industrial countries are positive exemplary factors that keep the subsystems of the coffee supply chain socially healthy. 3. The ecological dimension - conserve nature as a source A considerable amount of energies and raw materials of nature are used along the coffee supply chain. The cultivation of coffee berries in huge mono cultures, the processing, the transportation of the beans, their roasting and their distribution, need resources, like electricity, diesel, pesticides, fertiliser, water and paper. As a consequence exhaust gas, waste and sewage are produced as a by-product. This inevitable consumption of the natural resources and the environmental pollution need to be observed and reduced continuously. At the same time they need to be transferred to the public by instruments of the environmental and sustainable communication (explanations, reports, Internet forums and workshops). The management of most industrial roasters has been working for several years on minimising the negative environmental effects and is trying to increase the ecological efficiency. In this area a lot of improvements have been achieved. The ecological core problems are rather up to the actors of the subsystems on the other end of the coffee supply chain: Die Monokulturen und die Aufbereitung der Kaffeekirschen sind mit der Zerschneidung von Ökosystemen, Reduktion der Artenvielfalt, Belastung von Gewässern und Boden sowie Energieverbrauch und damit einhergehenden Luftemissionen verbunden . [The mono cultures and the treatment of the coffee berries are bound to the destruction of ecosystems, the reduction of biodiversity, environmental burden of waters and of soil as well as energy consumption that cause air emissions].
5 B. Allocation to the monitoring fields The actors of the global coffee supply chain can only achieve their goals and purposes continuously if on one hand they work as efficient as possible, and if on the other hand they consider the preservation of other participating subsystems their sources. The actors can only cope with this challenge when they cooperate in partnership. Therefore an intensive communication between all participants is necessary. In doing so the actors are reliant on an intermediary organisation such as the 4C. In the context of this NGO, representatives of all actors have agreed upon several indicators for sustainable coffee. In the following illustration the indicators are attributed to the salutogenetical and pathogenetical monitoring fields of the coffee supply chain according to our models. C. Allocation of dedication points and documentation of the evaluation In this stage of the monitoring process the ultimate evaluation of the dedication for sustainability takes place. The dedication observed beforehand is allocated to socalled dedication points. This is accomplished by the monitoring team. For the coffee supply chain this could be done by the 4C-NGO because the representatives of the whole value creation chain are assembled there. The process of evaluation is vulnerable due to its subjectivity. It can only get its legitimisation through discussions within the NGO and through common decisions of the monitoring team. Thereby the composition of the team, its scientific as well as practical experiences in the context of sustainability are important. The ability to foresee impacts on the supply chain is another important factor. The experience taken from the evaluation processes need to be seized, documented and shall then be incorporated into other monitoring processes. V. CONCLUSION: HANDLING CONTRADICTIONS THROUGH MONITORING Within the coffee value creation chain the participating actors strive for different goals. These different goals diverge from the single goal of a sustainable development. Coffee products can only be produced on a long-term basis, if the ecological, economic and social requirements within the coffee supply chain are considered. To fulfil this demand the complexity of sustainability through monitoring was regarded to cope with the often conflicting goals. The rationality of sustainability serves as a foundation to debate the monitoring process, and serves as a complex value creation process with complex interactions and interdependencies, in which different actors take part. Not only the dimensions of sustainability are restrictions for each other, but also the actors of the value creation chain are restrictive as a source and as demander of resources. 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