What does a credible sustainability scheme in the coffee sector look like?
What does a credible sustainability scheme in the coffee sector look like? This is the question at the heart of GCP Equivalence Mechanism. As part of GCP’s drive towards farmers’ prosperity and sustainability, GCP Members work collectively to advance transparency by sharing annual progress on their increasing demand for sustainable coffee.
Providing a common framework for this Collective Reporting and the resulting GCP Snapshot publication, it is key to recognize and support the pioneer role that certification-like sustainability schemes have in advancing sustainable production and consumption. At the same time, it’s critical to acknowledge the role that a wider range of sustainability schemes – both from private and public sector – now have. This is exactly what the Equivalence Mechanism aims to do. Recognized sustainability schemes are then eligible to be included in the GCP Collective Reporting.
The Equivalence Mechanism 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 Equivalence Mechanism 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. Those criteria include topics like governance, standard-setting, assurance, data quality, and claims.
Building on the recent publication of the Coffee SR Code (previously known as Baseline Coffee Code) the Equivalence Mechanism, first developed in 2016, is being reviewed to reflect the changes in the newly revised Code, as well as to consider system aspects (Operational Criteria) that reflect good practices and users’ expectations of credible schemes.
This review included a public consultation, in which more than 50 actors have shared their important views and knowledge. This has included the participation of coffee producers, coffee authorities in producing countries, traders, roasters, and NGOs that participate or/and have developed their own sustainability scheme (public, private and voluntary codes, standards and programs)
The input received during the consultation will be shared with the GCP Technical Committee and Advisory Task Force that are guiding the review and include representatives from all segments of the coffee value chain and supporting organizations. A revised GCP Equivalence Mechanism will be put forward for GCP Board approval and will be published in Q4 2022. More information about the Equivalence Mechanism revision can be found here.
GCP chats to Whitney Kakos of Keurig Dr Pepper on why the Equivalence Mechanism matters.
GCP’s Gelkha Buitrago chats to Stefan Canz of Nestlé to better understand how the mechanism can be used.
The revision is being guided by the GCP Technical Committee and the Advisory Task Force. It includes actors from all segments of the coffee supply chain, from producers to roasters and supporting organizations like NGOs. The consultation will look at the elements that define a credible sustainability scheme in terms of governance, standard-setting, assurance, data and claims. For this revision GCP is in particular seeking input from organizations that have developed a sustainability scheme, companies that use sustainability schemes for their responsible/sustainable sourcing strategies and actors in the sector who are active in the area of responsible/sustainable sourcing.
Do you want to know more? Have a look at the project description here.