Advancing together!

For a thriving, sustainable coffee sector

Announcing the
Coffee Sustainability Reference Code

Global Coffee Platform celebrates International Coffee Day, announcing the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code, a common language to help the coffee sector collectively advance farmers’ prosperity, improved well-being, and the conservation of nature.

Coffee is so much more than a beloved beverage for millions of coffee consumers all around the world.  It also gives us a powerful, positive engine for economic and social development and a nature-based solution to climate change! Coffee production is essential to the livelihoods of over 25 million coffee farmers and workers. But while we all highly appreciate coffee, do we yet share enough common understanding about its important role to protect, benefit and advance sustainable coffee production for the benefit of all involved?  

“Increasingly, the coffee sector is embracing the concept of sustainability. We see more countries developing sustainability plans, companies making responsible sourcing commitments, and numerous projects to address sustainability challenges. These are just a few examples of the different, urgently needed efforts to build a more sustainable coffee sector faster,” said Gelkha Buitrago, GCP Director Programs and Corporate Partnerships.  

“To effectively address our shared challenges and have a greater impact, we need to align our efforts and combine our strengths. The coffee community has now made a big step forward with a shared understanding on the foundations of sustainable coffee production.” 

From the coffee community for the coffee community:  A powerful sustainability tool for everyone to explore 

Following thorough, consultative revision of the Baseline Coffee Code, the Global Coffee Platform is excited to announce the launch of the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code. This updated sustainability reference code offers a simplified yet fit-for-purpose framework to foster baseline sustainable coffee production. It not only reflects ongoing challenges in the coffee sustainability landscape, but also includes key emerging concerns such as climate change, and diversity and inclusion.

The careful revision process included global public consultation with stakeholders spanning the entire coffee value chain. 

“The Coffee Sustainability Reference Code is from the coffee community for the coffee community, to advance farmers’ economic prosperity, social well-being, and the conservation of nature. We are grateful to the 800 voices who contributed to the revised code and look forward to sharing and exploring its use with everyone in the coffee sector.”

Annette Pensel, GCP Executive Director. 

The Coffee Sustainability Reference Code offers an essential, common understanding of sustainable coffee production foundations in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. It provides a framework with which everyone can engage to increase sustainable coffee production through recognized principles, while taking an active share of responsibility for the work required to collectively advance coffee sustainability sector wide.

“We invite coffee farmers and their organizations along with their business partners from all segments of the coffee value chain, donors, financial institutions and governments to use this sector-wide reference as a tool. Now we have a common tool to enhance, align and accelerate the work underway so that all coffee farmers can be reached – to eventually make all coffee production sustainable” said Pensel. 

“GCP looks forward to sharing the revised reference code, which will also form the basis of the GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases and other shared metrics. We are excited to work with GCP Members, partners and public-private Country Platforms in coffee producing countries to improve the enabling environment in support of coffee farmers.” 

Advancing sustainable production and sourcing through shared responsibility is key to making a bright future for sustainable coffee farming into reality! 

The Coffee Sustainability Reference Code is set to be published later in October 2021.

Join GCP for an introductory webinar and learn more about the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code 

4 November 2021 | 3pm CET | 10am ET