GCP Board Chair Carlos Brando shares lessons from a panel discussion entitled ‘Inside the Coffee Market’ held during Brazil International Coffee Week – Semana Internacional do Café (SIC).
Economic sustainability, enabled by high productivity and an efficient enabling environment, is a critical step to move towards social and environmental sustainability. This was one of the messages presented by GCP Board Chair Carlos Brando during the Brazil International Coffee Week – Semana Internacional do Café (SIC).
Brando was part of a panel discussing issues “Inside the Coffee Market.” He was joined by Kim Elena Ionescu, Chief Sustainability and Knowledge Development Officer at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and Henrique Cambraia, vice-president of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA). A clear theme which emerged in this session was the importance of Increasing coffee growers’ incomes.
Brando explained how Brazil’s competitiveness in the world coffee business derives primarily from the combination of high productivity (brought about by research), technology, good management and the large percentage of the FOB export price that reaches the growers. The high price that Brazilian growers receive results from an efficient enabling environment in Brazil. Brando believes that Brazil’s well-developed enabling environment is a benchmark for other producing countries and added that it is critical for other producing countries to move in that direction in order to transfer more income to coffee growers. GCP’s National Sustainability Platforms, he said, play an important role in facilitating this transformation.
“Economic sustainability, enabled by high productivity and an efficient enabling environment, is a critical step to move towards social and environmental sustainability and is one of the reasons that Brazil is a leading supplier of sustainable coffees to the world.”
He added that GCP’s strategy to strengthen the enabling environment in producing countries through local action is one of the best options to increase income and improve sustainability at scale.
Brando believes that the solutions proposed in the panel complement each other. Ionescu introduced SCA’s Price Crises Response Initiative as part of her presentation. She highlighted the issue of inequality in the coffee chain – the global coffee category value is US$ 200 billion but green coffee exports are valued at only US$ 20 billion.
Cambraia concluded the panel by introducing an alternative mechanism to transfer more income to coffee growers – higher-priced and directly traded specialty coffee. This may ensure better prices for growers even in the absence of an efficient enabling environment but is limited to a small percentage of the world’s coffee production.
One of the largest coffee events in the world today, SIC is an annual event held in Belo Horizonte and attracts more than 23,000 people from 31 countries. The event generated US$ 93 million worth of business in 2019. This year the event took place virtually from 18 to 20 November. One of the advantages of shifting the event online was a larger presence of international presenters.