The Sustainability Progress Framework: Focusing on what we can change

21 / Mar / 17

“We should be careful to start by concentrating on what we can change, don’t ask for information you don’t need to improve the plight of farmers.”

This was advice from one of the global experts at the Sustainable Food Lab Performance Measurement Practitioners Workshop, which is particularly relevant for GCP at the moment as we focus on how to measure progress in the coffee sector.

In February GCP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the SCC which includes working together to develop common metrics to measure progress towards sustainability in the coffee sector. This process builds on previous work by GCP and SCC to develop a sustainability framework and common definition of success for coffee sustainability.

Individual contributions to collective goals

The framework looks at how different investments and actions of coffee stakeholders contribute towards the goals of the prosperity and well-being of farmers and workers, nature conservation and sustained supply of coffee.

It also builds on the theory of change work done under Vision 2020 on how coffee stakeholders contribute to improving livelihoods, building resilient ecosystems, profitable communities and sector. The long-term goal is a sustainable and resilient coffee sector that offers a good livelihood to farmers.

Selecting indicators

The next step now is to pick priority themes and choose indicators to measure individual and collective impact on these themes. The objective is to have an initial list of prioritized indicators by end of April. There will then be an opportunity to contribute to thematic prioritization.

However, we need your input to help develop and refine the framework so that it becomes a useful and practical tool to help transform the coffee sector.

You can join the Joint Working Group which is working to pick indicators, priority themes and characteristics of good indicators. If you are interested in participating in the Joint Working Group, email

GCP will also hold webinars and stakeholder briefings to update members on the progress of the Framework.

Session at the NCA Convention

If you are attending the NCA Annual Convention 2017, you can find out more about the Sustainability Progress Framework in a session discussing ‘Making Coffee the First Sustainable Commodity’ with Annette Pensel and Bambi Semroc on Friday 24 March at 3.00pm in Salon 2.