Sharing the Human Side of Sustainability

ESG & Sustainability Reports, Corporate Reporting

Farmer Brothers' annual sustainability report cover

110-Year-Old American Coffee Foodservice Company Hires Obata to Share its ESG Progress in its Recently Published 2022 Sustainability Report


Farmer Brothers


2022 Sustainability Report


  • Reporting Strategy
  • Copywriting & Editing
  • Report Design
  • Interactive PDF
  • Infographics Design

Annual Sustainability Report that is More Than Just About its Data

Being committed to sustainability means making progress toward goals. Making progress is something that Farmer Brothers Coffee has successfully been accomplishing for years. Their annual sustainability reports have shared those successes as they met and surpassed distinct ESG goals.

The key to a successful sustainability report is not just communicating the data, but also compelling storytelling. In their most recent annual sustainability report, Farmer Brothers Coffee effectively communicates their commitment to sustainability to their stakeholders by sharing the human side of sustainability through stories.

They turned to OBATA and our decades of experience in corporate reporting.

OBATA has created more than 50 ESG, sustainability, and corporate responsibility reports. These reports were designed for companies of all sizes and represent a wide range of industries. These companies also represent Fortune 100 firms and startups in industries ranging from manufacturers of cabinets and semiconductors to energy providers and even coffee roasters and distributors.


“OBATA’s team created an excellent report for Farmer Brothers. We are very proud of it. The report is well-written, well-designed, and has a high impact. They truly helped us as an organization raise the bar and reflect the great work we have been doing for the coffee industry worldwide.”

Daniel Cifuentes – Senior Manager of Sustainability, Farmer Brothers

Farmer Bros. Co. is a national coffee roaster, wholesaler and distributor of coffee, tea, and culinary products. They serve a wide variety of customers, from small independent restaurants and foodservice operators to large institutional buyers like restaurants, department and convenience store chains, hotels, casinos, healthcare facilities, and gourmet coffee houses, as well as grocery chains with private brand and consumer-branded coffee and tea products, and foodservice distributors.

Farmer Brothers' annual sustainability report interior page example

OBATA helped Farmer Brothers share the human side of sustainability with stories. In the story shown above, Farmer Brothers helps coffee growers in the Salgar municipality of Colombia. They look for ways to help coffee growers supplement their income during the off-season. One way is to raise bees and natural pollinators. This benefits their crops and the local ecosystem.

How did OBATA help Farmer Brothers in sharing the human side of sustainability through stories?

OBATA report writers interviewed key subject matter experts, including the CEO of Farmer Brothers. They used this information to create the letter from leadership that opens the report.

Then we leveraged visits conducted by Farmer Brothers to coffee farms in countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, and Rwanda.

Our team gained insights into the grassroots initiatives of Farmer Brothers during a storytelling session. These initiatives aim to improve the quality of life of small-scale farmers who supply coffee beans.

OBATA was able to capture the impact that Farmer Brothers has had on the local communities, from the provision of quality education and healthcare to the use of sustainable farming methods.

Through their grassroots efforts, Farmer Brothers has provided access to resources that have improved soil health, water usage, and access to markets. This has allowed the farmers to increase their productivity, and in turn, their profits. The result has been an increase in economic opportunities and an improved quality of life for these communities.

Farmer Brothers' annual sustainability report interior page example with infographics
Farmer Brothers' annual sustainability report interior page example with great photography

OBATA brought the accomplishments of Farmer Brothers to life through use of inspiring and engaging images as well as callouts throughout the report.

Designing an Engaging Report

OBATA designed a compelling and engaging sustainability report that reflected the progress made by Farmer Brothers toward achieving their goals. The report was well-organized and easy to follow.

OBATA conveys the human side of sustainability through stories by creating a compelling report design, copywriting, and infographics that highlighted the company’s progress and successes.

The report effectively communicates the company’s commitment to sustainability to its stakeholders and the public. Moreover, the use of photography and graphics helped to bring the stories to life, making the report more engaging and memorable.

The report was also crafted to be interactive, allowing readers to explore the details of Farmer Brothers’ sustainability initiatives. OBATA created a series of infographics that highlight key data points. They also showcase the impact of the company’s work.

This design included a highlights section and feature articles. The articles showcase the company’s achievements and impacts on Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Examples included reductions in waste and repurposing and reuse practices.

The report also features sidebars on awards and accomplishments in 2022 and included links to GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) data.

Ultimately, Farmer Brothers’ 2022 Sustainability Report was more than just a data-driven document – it was an inspiring story of progress and success.

Farmer Brothers' annual sustainability report interior page examples

Collaboration Between OBATA and Farmer Brothers Resulted in a Highly Successful Sustainability Report

Our corporate reporting team collaborated with the company’s sustainability group to organize, write, and design the 2022 report. Farmer Brothers’ published the report in the sustainability section of its website.

OBATA’s ESG and sustainability reporting process enabled Farmer Brothers to effectively communicate its sustainability story to stakeholders and position itself as a leader in the industry. The report has been praised by stakeholders for its transparency and clarity.

The report demonstrated the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability as well as its dedication to creating social value. It also highlighted Farmer Brothers’ efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and its commitment to ethical labor practices.

The final report:

  • Was designed using a landscape format, aligning with computer displays and eliminating the need for scrolling
  • Has a clear structure and navigation system
  • Uses Farmer Brothers’ attractive photography to illustrate key points and keep readers engaged
  • Incorporates more than a dozen custom-designed graphics including charts, infographics, and tables to amplify key metrics
  • Leverages the brand standards and brand guidelines created by Farmer Brothers