Building a sustainable future for the Australian coffee growers' industry


This project will assist the Australian coffee grower industry to compete against imported coffee by creating a plan for a compelling industrywide environmental sustainability system. The success of fairtrade coffee has demonstrated the appeal of socially sustainable imported coffee. The industry’s present grower level sustainability is strong, but not integrated. Integrating sustainability practices across the industry and its supply chain will transform the industry from individual sustainable farm operations to a fully sustainable value chain from raw materials supply to the cup. Australia needs agricultural industries which are highly environmentally sustainable, and the Australian coffee grower’s industry needs a world leading sustainability capability to help it compete with imported fair trade and organic coffee. The potential for growth in this industry is huge (currently servicing less than 1% of demand), however, the industry is struggling to grow. An industrywide value and supply chain sustainability system will not only create a more sustainable product, it will also provide the industry with a competitive advantage. The project will collect information from Australian growers and other members of the supply chain regarding their current practices, needs and aspirations. This information will be benchmarked against international best practice using international horticultural and food supply chain sustainability studies. The information analysis and best practice information will be used to develop a plan for the implementation of a coordinated and cooperative sustainable whole of coffee growing supply chain. The plan will be presented through industry workshops and ongoing support.


New and Emerging Industries

Research Organisation

Deakin University (a body politic and corporate established pursuant to the Deakin University Act 2009 (Vic))

Objective Summary

Introduce the project to the industry through an introduction and information collecting workshop. Interview as much of the industry as possible to identify their current sustainability levels, aspirations and barriers associated with sustainability adoption. Compare these findings with best practice sustainability supply chain initiatives in other industries globally. Develop a plan for the introduction of sustainable supply chains in the industry and include this in a project report. Present the plan to the industry in a workshop to be held in New South Wales towards the end of 2020. Provide the plan on a project website and provide continuing support to the industry for its implementation through the industry association (ASTCA), website and future projects.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Friday, June 26, 2020

Project Completion Date

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

NEI - New and Emerging Industries - SM1