Stakeholder Trends and Insights
Global Coffee Groups Unite to Catalogue Sector-Wide Progress in Achieving 100% Sustainability

Today the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge have publicly launched the Coffee Sustainability Catalogue 2016. The report, shared during the international Vision2020 workshop in London, compiles information on the sustainability initiatives of more than 80 stakeholders throughout the coffee sector. The Catalogue sheds light on sustainability efforts currently underway, and how actors in the sector can collaborate to make coffee the world’s first fully sustainable agricultural product.

“There is undeniably an urgent need for increased coordination and alignment – which is why the Global Coffee Platform as a central convener of public and private coffee stakeholders will use the Catalogue as a tool to strengthen and develop our strategies so we see less fragmentation and overlap and more collaboration towards making coffee the first sustainable agriculture commodity before 2045,” said Annette Pensel, GCP’s Interim Executive Director.

Several key findings from report include:

  • Across the coffee industry, more than $350 million is being invested annually in sustainability programs. Collective efforts are also enabling the industry to reach 350,000 farmers each year – a figure that has nearly doubled in the last 15 years.
  • Certification is a tool commonly used to increase consumer awareness, social inclusiveness, traceability and assurance and incentives.
  • The report estimates that transitioning the entire sector to sustainable production is possible, but at the current rate of investment, it would require a total investment of $4.1 billion to achieve and would take until 2045 to incorporate all coffee producers.

The goal of the organizations in assembling this information and publicly presenting it in the Coffee Sustainability Catalogue is to better understand the current state of the coffee sector and accelerate collaborative action toward future sustainable coffee initiatives.

“SCAA is proud to partner with GCP and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge on efforts which advance our shared directive toward a fully sustainable coffee sector,” said Kim Elena Ionescu, Director of Sustainability for SCAA. “The Catalogue is a true example of how our organizations, and all of our partners and members across the industry, can foster better coordination and more effective sustainability investment across the sector.”

The Coffee Sustainability Catalogue informs the work of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge – a dynamic and diverse coalition from stakeholders across the coffee sector including Conservation International, Starbucks and Keurig Green Mountain, united in the belief that it is possible to grow coffee while ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of farmers, and conserving forests, water and soils.

“We are encouraged by the findings presented in the Catalogue, but know we still have much to do in order to grow coffee in a way that meets future demand while conserving the environment and ensuring the prosperity and well-being of producing communities,” said Bambi Semroc, Senior Strategic Advisor at the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International, and lead coffee expert for the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. “Knowing where we stand in relation to our ultimate goal is a huge step in enabling us to accelerate action and build a sustainable future for coffee. We are proud to partner with GCP and SCAA to reach this milestone and look forward to future collaboration with them and the entire industry towards truly achieving the world’s first sustainable agricultural product.”

This is the latest step in a series of strategic partnerships aimed at increasing the sustainability of our morning brews. Forum for the Future’s Tea 2030 partnership – which includes Unilever, Yorkshire Tea, Tata Global Beverages, Twinings, James Finlay and more – is calling for the sector to find legal ways to collaborate to turn tea from a standard commodity into a “hero crop,“ which benefits the millions who work in all parts of the industry as well as the wider environment and economy.


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