Collectively building on progress: The 4C Association sets future direction to scale its reach and impact on coffee farming communities

London, 17/06/2015: Under the title Collectively Building on Progress, the 2015 General Assembly of the 4C Association brought together key stakeholders from around the world to share learnings and set the future direction of the multi-stakeholder platform and its Entry-level Standard.

Since its last General Assembly in 2012, the 4C Association and its members have made significant progress towards their vision of a thriving, sustainable coffee sector for generations to come. To continue building on this progress, participants at the General Assembly approved a number of proposals that will better position the organisation, its members and its partners to collectively achieve these goals and to continue delivering high quality services to its members. They include:

  • Strategy 2020: the new Council was given the mandate to oversee the development of the new strategy framework, the future delineation of verification operations and the transition roadmap.
  • Vision 2020: the 4C Association will continue its leadership role in Vision 2020, an inclusive sector-wide alliance collectively addressing challenges and vulnerabilities to ensure the resilience and livelihoods of farming communities.
  • New Council: the General Assembly elected their representatives to the Council who represent the tri-partite structure of the 4C Association. Click here to meet the new Council members.

In line with its title, the 2015 General Assembly was an interactive two-day event full of lively exchange, discussion, learnings and networking. It celebrated the organisation’s progress in becoming the global platform for sustainable coffee, the impressive uptake of its Entry-level Standard and the partnerships formed or strengthened with other sustainability standards. More information can be found in the 2014 Annual Report.

With the participation of over 130 stakeholders, the General Assembly offered a unique opportunity to collectively reflect and explore the key issues that are shaping the future of sustainability in coffee. With a host of expert speakers, the second day was kicked off by an inspiring keynote speech from Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnerships at the World Economic Forum, who reinforced the genuine potential of the 4C Association to positively transform the coffee sector. The second day also entailed insights into the benefits, learnings and challenges from those using the Entry-level Standard, a discussion on the future of the Entry-level Standard, a showcase of successful and innovative collaborations addressing overarching sustainability issues, and an exploration of the opportunities around the task of setting and implementing a common agenda, and how the 4C Association and its members and partners can be central to positively transforming the coffee sector.

“With the strategic direction clearly set and agreed upon, the 4C Association is now in an excellent position to lead and shape the transformation of the coffee sector together with its members and partners” said Robert Waggwa Nsibirwa, the re-elected Chair of the Council. “The 4th General Assembly was a unique event in that it provided the opportunity for many members to meet other members and other key stakeholders in person, exchange ideas and make important decisions that will shape the future direction of the coffee sector as a whole,” he added.

In line with the approved Strategy 2020 and transition roadmap, the next General Assembly is planned to take place in the second half of 2016. The presentations and photos from the 2015 General Assembly shall be available in the next edition of the Behind the Cup. For any additional comments or questions regarding the 2015 General Assembly, please contact Josh Edwards.