What does a credible sustainability scheme in the coffee sector look like? 

GCP launches public consultation on Equivalence Mechanism revision

Lend your voice to define what elements sustainability schemes in the coffee sector should encompass to be considered credible and effective: GCP public consultation on the revision of the Equivalence Mechanism.  

The Equivalence Mechanism (EM) is a framework developed by the Global Coffee Platform to assess whether a sustainability scheme can be considered equivalent to the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code (Coffee SR Code). 

The Coffee SR Code is a sector-wide reference that articulates the foundations of sustainability for green coffee production and primary processing; it is organized into three pillars – economic, social and environmental. 

The EM assesses whether a sustainability scheme meets the Coffee SR Code plus a set of Operational Criteria that ensure sustainability schemes have a credible and effective system for implementation. Operational Criteria include five topics:  governance, standard-setting, assurance, data quality, and claims.  Following the publication of the Coffee SR Code in October 2021, this revision of the Equivalence Mechanism focuses on the operational criteria.  

Why the Equivalence Mechanism?

There are many sustainability schemes present in the coffee sector and it is hard to understand their similarities, differences, effectiveness, and alignment with sector priorities.  The EM is a tool that helps coffee sector stakeholders navigate this complexity. 

Through the EM we can better understand which sustainability schemes meet baseline practices of sustainability in a credible and effective manner. In this way, we can – collectively – better support an increased demand for coffee that is produced following these practices, drive the uptake of these practices in coffee producing countries, and, ultimately, help build a resilient future for farmers and the sector overall. 

Who? You!

We invite all actors interested in sustainability in the coffee sector to participate in the revision of the Equivalence Mechanism. In particular, producers, coffee authorities in producing countries, traders, roasters, NGOs that participate or/and have developed their own sustainability scheme (public, private and voluntary codes, standards and programs) are called to share their views and knowledge.  Additionally, GCP invites companies that source roasted coffee, to offer input on topics and elements of concern. 


The public consultation runs from 16 March 2022 until 20 April 2022.

How can I share my views?

Provide your input via our online survey, or schedule a one-to-one session with us. In this link  you find all the information about the consultation.  Lend your voice and contribute advancing the foundations for sustainability in the coffee sector.   

Need more information? Get in touch with the team
Gelkha Buitrago

Director Programs and Corporate Partnershipsemail me