North American community witness exemplary collective action

The Global Coffee Platform moderated a discussion panel at the 2018 NCA Convention “Creating a Sustainable Coffee World: Visions in Action” in New Orleans, USA. Several sustainability champions collaborated to present the session, including David Brown (Enveritas), Shannon Higgins (Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee - GCP Board Member), Saurin Nanavati (COSA), Juan Esteban Orduz (Colombian Coffee Federation - GCP Board Member), Annette Pensel (GCP), Mary Petitt (GCP).  

Showcasing Mother Parkers' 'Water Wise Coffee' program

During the session Higgins and Brown, on behalf of Paul Stewart (Technoserve), shared how dramatic environmental protection advancements are being achieved through Mother Parkers' program “Water Wise Coffee“ by working directly with Ethiopian community partners in the Sidama region. This ongoing partnership program has substantially reduced wastewater discharge from coffee wet mills into the Kolla River, especially during the harvest and processing season, enabling critical improvements to Kolla River water quality for the men, women and children who rely upon it to support their daily work needs and play.  

Colombian Coffee Federation's focus on the farmer

Juan Esteban Orduz engaged the audience with the Federation’s ground-breaking First Young Coffee Growers Congress 2017. The event convened 122 young coffee growers from 22 Departments in Colombia to address crucial sustainability issues, such as technical aspects of farming and commercialization, in national and international markets. Key meeting outcomes included the spirited exchange of experiences, demonstration of young talent and emerging coffee farming leadership, and expression of vital commitment to ensure Colombian coffee farming will offer a promising path to professional development and environmental stewardship.  

Collaborating together
Annette Pensel (GCP) and Saurin Nanavati (COSA)

COSA and GCP work together on measuring what matters

Finally, Saurin Nanavati and Annette Pensel described how COSA and GCP are teaming up to advance Collective Impact Reporting of Sustainability Indicators in the coffee sector. Coffee can be the first commodity to consistently report on the Sustainable Development Goals, as has been widely endorsed by both companies and governments. Globally aligned and shared metrics will maximize the efficiency of business decisions for companies to better demonstrate progress and impact, see their performance, and benefit the supply chain by reducing the data collection efforts and cost for farmers, firms and governments.  

The audience and panelists enjoyed the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, talking and thinking together about how to create a sustainable coffee world through better leverage of ideas, individual talents and company capacities to facilitate faster, smarter progress and outcomes. Annette Pensel affirmed how GCP looks forward to increasing engagement with North American coffee sustainability stakeholders in GCP development initiatives taking place in producing countries: "We want to activate global policies through local action, and that's most successful when we combine forces and talents by working together! Coffee partners in the U.S. and Canada play a key role to create and ensure the shared success of these critical initiatives. We welcome new members to join the work inside the Global Coffee Platform as a uniquely neutral organization focused on accomplishing effective, targeted programs and results to achieve coffee sustainability.”  

The event was a key opportunity to report out on how sustainability visions are turning into advances throughout the supply chain, and we are grateful to the NCA leadership for helping to share the good news on sustainability development with coffee sector leaders attending the Convention from around the world.  

Find out about local action through GCP collaboration in producing countries here!

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