Introducing our Covid-19 Tea and Coffee Supply Chain Commitments
Roughly a 4 minute read
Supporting our suppliers through COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis is having a very real impact on lives and livelihoods all over the world. We’ve been in close contact with our tea and coffee supply partners who are experiencing the impacts of this pandemic in their own countries. Tea and coffee production is essential to the livelihoods of millions of farmers and we’ve been having conversations to better understand the key challenges affecting communities and how we can best support them.
Our unique Taylors Sourcing Approach means we’ve always held incredibly high standards in how we work with suppliers and we’re committed to upholding them as well as introducing new ways to stand together during this time and beyond. We’ve therefore announced five commitments to our tea and coffee suppliers to help bring some assurance during these uncertain times.
With immediate effect, we’ve set up a global Covid-19 Emergency Response Relief Fund of £500,000 to support the humanitarian impacts caused by the pandemic. Our focus is on food security, maintaining healthcare services and supporting measures designed to reduce the spread of the virus.
In many of the countries we source from, our supplier communities are facing urgent challenges due to the impact of Covid-19. Families in the communities we work with are struggling as the cost of local supplies escalates, and food and essential personal protective equipment are harder to source.
Our suppliers have been quick to respond to these challenges, but more support is needed and our Relief Fund has been set up to work with our existing suppliers to help build resilience in communities we’ve worked with over many years. So far we’ve allocated £413,779 of funding. You can read about where the funds are going here.
Long-term agreements and contracts
We will honour every one of our long-term agreements and contracts already in place and look to grow volumes where practical. We understand that in times of uncertainty providing security of business enables the ability to plan. To that end, we will continue to share our forecasts and buying commitments with suppliers, underpinned with mutually agreed and transparent pricing models. We will continue to pay promptly and in full for every contract, now and in the future.
Our suppliers have told us that one of the key ways we can support them through Covid-19 is to keep buying what we’ve said we will. With cafes and restaurants closing during lockdown, demand for tea and coffee has changed and for some producers, this has created uncertainty. As well as honouring our agreements we’re buying more from our suppliers where we can. Long term contracts and responsible trading practices are the cornerstones of the Taylors Sourcing Approach and the foundations of the way we work together won’t change during these tricky times.
Payment terms and credit
Liquidity is essential, even more so in a crisis when conventional flows of cash may be compromised, leading to an impact on livelihoods. We will shorten our payment terms to Net Cash Against Documents (NCAD) on a needs basis to speed the flow of money to suppliers where it’s needed. We will further work with our suppliers to ensure credit lines are in place and will triage with our growers and social lenders to maintain financial liquidity.
Maintaining cashflow has never been more important for people and businesses around the globe. To put it simply, in extreme cases, hold ups in the flow of money from customer to supplier can prevent the supplier from having the cash to ensure their workforce gets paid. Where it’s helpful to our suppliers and they’ve requested it we’ve been able to shorten our payment terms to make sure money is flowing quickly. And we’ve committed to connecting them to responsible credit providers where needed.
While we respond to the immediate impact of Covid-19, we will continue to champion our existing global sustainability programme, which includes Carbon Neutral products, working towards a living wage across our value chain, and eliminating oil-based plastics from our packaging.
You’ll find lots more information on this hub about our other sustainability efforts and we want you to know that we’re still committed to them. While our sustainability team’s focus has shifted to Covid-19 support in the short-term and some of the projects we were planning to implement in tea and coffee origins have needed to be paused temporarily due to local social distancing measures, our long-term goals remain.
Collaboration and communications
We will publicly report on our progress against these commitments each month, while continuing to collaborate with suppliers and other stakeholders, to share learning, maximise our collective impact and ensure that we’re honouring our commitment to be a Force for Good.
Being open and honest about our work at origin is important, that’s why we created this Impact Hub. We’ll be keeping you posted on our progress here, so please keep checking back in. You can read some detailed Q&As on our commitments here and email us at email@example.com if you have questions that aren’t clearly answered.
Last updated 19th April 2021