Celebrating 10 years of GCP Presence in Brazil!
GCP Brazil is in celebration after reaching the 10 year anniversary of its founding! The milestone was marked by a reflection of advances in sustainability in coffee production made, and a celebration of the contribution and dedication of the platforms members and partners who have been a part of the journey.
The celebration coincided with Semana Internacional do Café (SIC), the international coffee week event in Brazil. For GCP Brazil Program Director, Pedro Ronca, it was a poignant moment to toast to the people who have been a part of this journey and who contribute daily to the advancements in coffee sustainability, from seed to cup!
It is remarkable to see how the governance maturity has continuously grown during the last 10 years!Pedro Ronca
The interventions and Collective Action Initiatives led by the platform in Brazil are a consequence of the hard work of two groups: the National Advisory Board (NAB), the strategic and political arm of the Platform, and the Brazil Working Group (BWG), which discusses the major issues affecting sustainability in the field, challenges and opportunities for improvement, and suggests actions and projects aimed at coffee producers.
The NAB, that operates at the national political and leadership level, has strategic and policy roles and decides whether to validate the recommendations of the BWG. This technical body, that operates at the coffee growers’ level and designs and proposes activities to address sustainability gaps, creates ownership for GCP’s initiatives in the country.
According to Ronca, this innovative NAB-BWG two-level structure has played an important role to make Brazil’s National Sustainability Platform and its initiatives one the most successful of the GCP operations in the world. The governance is recognized for creating room for coffee stakeholders to discuss common challenges, to share responsibility and to build collective solutions for complex issues.
GCP Brazil’s Collective Action Initiatives – Responsible use of Agrochemicals and Social Well Being, funded by coffee and agrochemical industries, traders and retailers, have extension services, cooperatives and traders as implementing partners that ensure that findings and results are incorporated into the everyday activities of coffee growers in order to ensure perennial results and impact.
The Responsible Use of Agrochemicals initiative addresses the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), proper storage of agrochemicals, spraying technology training and proper disposal of agrochemical packages.
The Social Well Being initiative’s main goals are to improve living and working conditions of coffee farmers and workers, to create awareness and to promote education about decent working conditions, and to eliminate unacceptable social practices where found.
It also includes a living income study in Brazilian coffee growing areas that was presented during the event. A detailed report will be released in December 2022. These two initiatives have raised almost US$ 3 million and include 28 funding and implementing partners, together cover the main coffee producing areas of Brazil.
GCP Brazil has also been active in the implementation of the Coffee Sustainability Curriculum (CSC) that it developed in a bottom-up multi-stakeholder process that involved most relevant players in the Brazilian coffee supply chain. The CSC and its app are used to identify sustainability gaps, like the ones addressed by the initiatives above. The CSC is now gaining additional importance with the release of GCP’s Coffee Sustainability Reference Code and its newly enhanced Equivalence Mechanism. The benchmarking of the CSC with the Coffee SR Code will open up interesting opportunities for the certification or verification of sustainable coffees by Brazilian cooperatives and traders.
Statements and testimonies by members of GCP Brazil’s National Advisory Board mention the high level of alignment developed by the governance over the years and how it has supported the achievements of the Brazilian Sustainability Platform. The platform has succeeded in building trust and partnerships to unlock investments, creating synergies between the different levels of the coffee chain, and connecting companies to work in the pre-competitive arena.
“These achievements also demonstrate that GCP Brazil can in several aspects be considered a learning hub for other platforms. For example, it shows the importance of a good enabling environment beyond farm gate, that growers profit is the first step to achieve sustainability but social and environmental challenges may remain because of cultural aspects, and that continuous training and capacity building are needed to adapt production and to ensure continuous improvement.”