Leading coffee companies choose transparency to advance sustainable purchases

A clear pathway to coffee sustainability is being created through bold moves by some of the world’s leading coffee companies which are reporting their sustainable coffee purchases through the Global Coffee Platform’s Sustainable Coffee Purchase Reporting Program.

GCP is now inviting more coffee roasters and retailers of all sizes to join the upgraded program, and to partner in advancing global progress on sustainable coffee purchases from diverse origins.

The GCP Sustainable Coffee Purchase Reporting Program, now entering its second year, has received the commitment of some of the world’s leading companies which have agreed to act transparently in an effort to promote a sector-wide move towards sustainable coffee and to show the progress being made.

This commitment was applauded at the recent GCP Member Assembly, which drew more than 100 GCP Member representatives from 27 countries. Spanning the entire value chain – including leading coffee companies, civil society, banks and development agencies, the Membership greeted news of the launch and upgrade of the transparent reporting program, with coffee companies challenging each other to get involved and to share transparently their sustainable purchasing efforts.  

“Our GCP Members and National Coffee Sustainability Platforms have made great strides in moving forward on collective action during an incredibly challenging year, and the GCP Reporting process has become one of the great successes!” said Annette Pensel, GCP Executive Director.  

The program is one of the platform’s concrete responses to an earlier Call to Action, the director said. “Collective sustainability reporting has become a powerful tool to encourage greater transparency and increase sustainable coffee purchases from diverse origins. This is a crucial opportunity to demonstrate commitments in measurable, comparable ways right now!”

“We are now inviting all GCP Member roasters and retailers and extend a special invitation to ICO London Declaration signatories to join the GCP Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases.”

Leadership to drive sustainable sourcing

With the reporting framework in place and initial positive results already recorded by participating companies and major coffee sustainability standards, the reporting program will track the sector’s move towards sustainable sourcing and provide key information to all segments of the value chain, as well as the public sector.

GCP’s Snapshot on 2018 Sustainable Coffee Purchases provided first insights on collective reporting by JDE, Melitta, Nestlé, Strauss and Supracafé. Currently, work is underway to expand the recognition for the reporting to additional sustainability schemes and programs, using the Baseline Coffee Code as reference. It is expected that more companies – regardless of size – will step up to the program and help lead the sector.

“Participating in the newly upgraded GCP Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases enables roasters and retailers to show leadership on progress underway that supports transitioning the entire coffee market to sustainable sourcing from diverse origins,” said Pensel.

This is not just ‘the right thing to do’, she said, but is also something consumers are increasingly demanding. Additionally, regulatory discussions, including on due diligence, are also progressing.  

And while the director did recognize the many individual efforts being made, she pointed out the value in working with others. “There is value in aligning our efforts and using a common language, as we will all be better placed to understand sustainability progress being made.

Increasing sustainable purchases from diverse origins is essential to scale positive impact for coffee farmers, workers and their environment, and thus contributes to achieve the SDGs, explained Pensel. “Sustainability takes time, but this is something we can start today that will have impact!”

What are the benefits to increased sourcing of sustainable coffee?

And why should we get involved in the GCP Sustainable Coffee Purchase Reporting Program?

“New solutions are needed if we want smallholder farmers to produce sustainable coffee. I encourage smallholders to find certification schemes that suit them best and for larger companies to support smallholders in producing sustainable coffee”.


“We see this report as a way of generating a common language for the sector and the report is part of dialogue within the sector and a way to create community. Reporting like this can play a positive role in demonstrating due diligence for companies like Nestlé and other roasters, especially considering the upcoming EU regulations on due diligence.”


“Sustainable coffee creates a positive cycle of productivity and long-term benefits for future generations. Growers can only benefit from sustainable coffee”.

RAFAEL FURTADO – Coomap/Brazilian Coffee Producers Council (CNC)

“The Roaster & Retailer Reporting is an excellent opportunity for us, and others, to provide transparency. Based on this transparency, we can have a deeper dialogue about joint interests and action for sustainable development. Melitta is looking forward to participating in the next round of the reporting and I invite others to participate because it’s an excellent opportunity!”


The upgraded GCP Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases is open to coffee roasters and retailers, including signatories of the ICO London Declaration, and will start in February next year.

Find out more by joining an exclusive Roaster & Retailer meeting online on January 28, 2021. REGISTER NOW!
or get in touch!

Caroline Glowka

Senior Manager Member Relationsemail me