Brazilian Certifica Minas Café strengthens its international recognition through benchmarking agreement with the 4C Association

Mr. João Cruz Reis Filho, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Minas Gerais, and Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association. Credit: Claudio Arouca

São Paulo, 20 May 2015: Following a technical comparison of their standards, the 4C Association and Certifica Minas Café (CMC) announced a benchmarking agreement at the Brazilian Coffee Dinner Forum, on 19th May in São Paulo.

As a result of the benchmarking, Certifica Minas Café (CMC) farmers will be able to obtain a 4C Licence and sell their coffee as 4C Compliant without having to undergo an additional verification. This provides two main benefits: gaining a new gateway to the sustainable coffee market and strengthening the international recognition and demand for CMC certified coffee, without additional costs for the farmers.

The CMC program, which consists of a set of best practices and procedures related to coffee production, was launched in 2006 by the state government of Minas Gerais and is now run by MG EMATER and the Institute of Agriculture of Minas Gerais under the coordination of the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of MG-SEAPA. The implementation of the CMC standard provides farmers with practical orientation to produce more efficiently while respecting social and environmental laws. The benchmarking agreement will directly benefit approximately 1,600 coffee farms within the state of Minas Gerais and currently certified under the CMC Program.

From Certifica Minas Café’s perspective, partnerships like this one with the 4C Association represent an important step in the continuous improvement of our work processes. Participant coffee farmers in the CMC Program now have the opportunity to achieve more visibility for their work and product. At the same time, this initiative from Minas Gerais to contribute towards sustainable production becomes increasingly known”, states Niwton Castro Moraes, SEAPA and representative of CMC.

The technical comparison of both standards which led to the benchmarking agreement was carried out by IMO Control do Brazil, an independent auditing company with long standing experience in benchmarking exercises. The entire project was overseen by the Secretary of Agriculture from Minas Gerais, the 4C Association, SEAPA, IMA and EMATER.

‘For the 4C Association, the cooperation with CMC represents one step further on the path towards increasing global collaboration between sustainability standards. We are strongly committed to working together with other initiatives to avoid duplication of efforts and additional costs and thus increase benefits for farmers. We are also particularly happy to help strengthen the international recognition of Certifica Minas Café and thus recognize the great efforts of the Brazilian coffee farmers who produce it.”, stated Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association.

This project was supported and funded by the Sustainable Coffee Program powered by IDH. The Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) is a global, pre-competitive, public private initiative. Convening industry and trade partners, producers, (local) governments and research institutions, donors, NGOs and standard setting organizations in the coffee sector. Its ambition is to help bring global sustainable coffee production and sourcing practices to scale, by aligning stakeholder investments in producer support programs, improving farmer livelihoods while preserving natural resources. Enabling coffee producers to become more resilient in an ever-changing market.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Verónica Pérez, Communications Manager at the 4C Association: +49 228 850 50 16; Email:


Gillian Evans, IDH Communications Manager: +31 (0) 6422874878; Email: