While challenges faced by the coffee sector can be unique, the lessons learnt from the experience of others can be hugely beneficial beyond borders. This was a takeaway from the Global Coffee Platform Country Congress 2019 held earlier this month in Basel, Switzerland.
The event, which was part of the annual Membership Assembly, provided an opportunity for representatives from country platforms to share best practices, lessons learnt and ideas for a way forward.
“Personnel from the national coffee platforms, representatives from these platforms, GCP Board Members and key partners explored and exchanged the main challenges and opportunities currently affecting coffee-producing countries,” explained the GCP’s Melissa Salazar, Program Manager – Countries.
The Country Congress allowed participants to better understand the different and unique sustainability challenges in each of the countries, as well as discuss common challenges related to the current price crisis.
“Through these sessions, the participants were able to build and strengthen connections and find common synergies to strive together towards more sustainable coffee,” said Salazar, adding that the discussions started at the event will continue both within and across the country platforms. “There is a great deal of knowledge within these platforms that can be used and built upon by others. It was exciting to see experience the energy during the group discussions and see a number of new relationships forming. It’s clear that these will continue to strengthen and that there are great benefits for all .”
The sessions have also helped to inform the work of the GCP. Salazar confirmed that the feedback provided is being collated and the next steps are being developed.
Salazar said some of the most memorable moments included the discussion on mutual respect. “Developing a partnership is very important, but how the partnership is developed is equally important.”
Trust, the participants said, “comes from mutual respect. Coffee sustainability will only be possible through ensuring respect up and down the value chain.”
The Country Congress this year included a Country Platform Expo, where representatives from eight different National Coffee Sustainability Platforms showcased the achievements and activities of their platforms. During the expo, members had the opportunity of engaging directly with the representatives and coordinators of the platforms, which allowed them to both build their relationships and increase their understanding of the platforms.
Crucially, Salazar said the event was not the end of the discussions. “We hope participants will reach out to each other about opportunities to engage and keep the conversations going!”
The Global Coffee Platform would like to acknowledge the vital support provided by the event’s sponsors – JDE, Nescafe, and Melitta – as well as the ongoing strategic partnerships – IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, GIZ/BMZ, and Rainforest Alliance – to carry out such a successful Country Congress 2019.
Participants are invited to reach out to the GCP Program Manager – Countries and/or the Points of Contact for each platform to learn more about the work of the platforms they are interested in and find concrete opportunities to engage.
For more information contact:
Melissa Salazar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the 2019 Country Congress Round Up