A case study of the CSR communication strategies in the Nordic coffee industry

Detta är en Master-uppsats från SLU/Department of Molecular Sciences

Sammanfattning: The global coffee industry faces many sustainability challenges of which serious adaptation and transformation techniques is required in order to get it back on the right path. The climate changes have already and will continue to affect the current coffee cultivation areas so much that some of the geographical location used for coffee cultivation today cannot be used for coffee cultivation in the future. At the same time the social sustainability challenges within the coffee industry are severe as the coffee farmers earn less money from coffee cultivation and many of them remain living in poverty. The stakeholders of companies are increasingly demanding that companies take CSR responsibility along the whole value chains. The aim of this study was to look at how Nordic coffee roasting companies are communicating around their corporate social responsibility and in which way the companies are seeking legitimacy from their stakeholders. This was done through studying the communication in the sustainability reports of the companies as well as through email interviews with sustainability professionals from the company. The coffee industry is considered a pioneer within the sustainability field as they have been working to improve the sustainability for decades already and companies within the coffee industry tend to work with sustainability in homogenous ways. Through the findings from the study, it was identified that the studied companies communicated in rather similar ways around taken sustainability actions. Besides this, the companies recognized that they do not have sufficient knowledge to solve the biggest sustainability issues in the coffee industry as it looks like today. This case study serves as an example of how companies active in the Nordic coffee industry tend to communicate CSR and which aspects they tend to focus on. It shows how companies through different strategies tend to inform and involve their stakeholders. It also shows that CSR communication strategies in the Nordic coffee industry is mostly succeeding with achieving cognitive legitimacy, indicating that the Nordic coffee industry tends to communicate with CSR in rather homogenous ways.

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