As part of GCP’s ongoing efforts to advance sector transparency and the purchase of sustainable coffee, an additional scheme has been recognized as equivalent to the Baseline Coffee Code, 2nd party.
In February, Enveritas Green and LIFT by Mercon were added to the sustainability schemes recognised by GCP. This month, GCP welcomes Guaxupé Planet by Exportadora de Café Guaxupé, bringing the number of schemes recognised by the platform to 14.
These sustainability schemes are considered as equivalent under the Equivalence Mechanism 1.2 which includes the Baseline Coffee Code v2.1 (the predecessor of the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code) and Operational Criteria (covering system implementation) and are recognized by GCP as Baseline Coffee Code Equivalent 2nd party.
Why schemes are participating?
The 14 sustainability schemes are eligible to be used in the GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases. The latest round of GCP Collective Reporting kicked off in March 2022 and will culminate in the publication of the GCP Snapshot 2021 in Q3 of this year.
For Exportadora de Café Guaxupé, which has been working with – and buying directly from – producers, mainly small-scale farmers, for more than 50 years, the efforts to improve farmer management, as well as social and environmental conditions, culminated with the launch of its own certification program.
“We are very happy and proud that Guaxupé Planet is the first Brazilian-owned code to be recognized by GCP as a 2nd party scheme equivalent to the Baseline Coffee Code. It means that this code and these efforts will reach not only Brazilian farmers, but also global actors. This builds a bridge and helps us give structure to the program. It is essential that we join forces and move on the same direction on the sustainably path. Together we are better and stronger.”
– Flavia Barbosa Paulino da Costa, Diretora Executiva
The Equivalence Mechanism, together with the Code and the GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases are connected assets developed by GCP to offer a common language on the foundations for coffee sustainability and promote the supply and demand of coffee produced following at least baseline sustainability principles. Sustainability schemes that meet the sustainability criteria in the Code and the Operational Criteria in the Equivalence Mechanism are eligible for roasters and retailers to be included in their annual reporting of sustainable coffee purchases.
What does it mean to be Equivalent 2nd or 3rd party?
For their recognition, GCP assessed the different sustainability schemes against the principles and criteria in the GCP Baseline Coffee Code and the operating practices that schemes should have in place to be considered credible and effective. Depending on their assurance model they are classified as GCP Baseline Coffee Code equivalent 2nd party or 3rd party. 2nd party assurance is often referred to as verification and 3rd party assurance is often referred to as certification. The main difference between these two levels of assurance is that 3rd party assurance includes the oversight of an external body in all assurance activities of the organization that owns the scheme, this includes but goes beyond third-party audits at farm level.