GCP exchanges keys for a prosperous coffee sector at the International Coffee Week in Brazil

“GCP’s goal is to maintain and expand the income and well-being of 95,000 coffee growers in different regions of the country by 2030.” These were the words of Pedro Ronca, director of Plataforma Global do Café Brasil (GCP Brazil), at the 2023 International Coffee Week (SIC).

SIC brought together about 20 thousand people from 30 countries, including producers, cooperatives, roasters, traders, baristas, representatives of organizations and visitors. The 10th edition of the event was celebrated on 8-10 of November in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

On day one, GCP Brazil addressed the importance of good agricultural practices in the panel “Resilience to climate change & farmer prosperity: the Platform’s new strategic plan toward 2030”. Ronca explained the platform’s new strategy, which aims to develop the sustainability and prosperity of small coffee producers through collective action.

The panel, led by GCP Brazil, gathered members and partners such as the National Coffee Council (CNC), represented by Natalia Carr, Brazil’s Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) represented by Raquel Miranda, and the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council (Cecafé) represented by Silvia Pizzol.

According to Ronca, “we can translate living income for small and medium-sized coffee producers as having a good quality of life. The key to that includes regenerative agriculture, but also partnerships and collaborative work. The biggest threat to ensuring income and well-being may be climate-related issues”. “And, for the protagonism to continue, the union of the sector is necessary, to reach more producers and go further”, reflects Silvia Pizzol.

A changing market: European Deforestation Regulations

GCP wrapped its participation at SIC speaking to a full auditorium with over 600 participants; the panel discussed the “New commercialization scenario for coffees in the world”, which emphasized the EUDR and the new requirements related to deforestation and traceability that will affect the coffee trade.

During the discussion, Gelkha Buitrago, GCP Director of Programs & Corporate Partnerships, shared concrete data on the new European legislation, explaining how fines for non-compliance will apply to European importers.

“It was great to engage with GCP Members and other actors and share a global perspective with them. With the so many changes on the sustainability landscape, not least upcoming regulation, now more than ever pre-competitive collective action can be a catalyser to ensure no one is left behind,” explained Buitrago.

Fellow speakers included coffee grower and exporter Henrique Cambraia (Sancoffee), Marcos Antonio Matos (executive director of Cecafé) and Felipe Nunes (researcher at UFMG – Federal University of Minas Gerais), who focused on Brazil’s mapping efforts to monitor its coffee producers and track deforestation. There was a consensus among the panelists that Brazil has greater data robustness when compared to other coffee origins.

“It was very exciting to witness first-hand how vibrant the coffee sector in Brazil is. More than 20 thousand participants engaging, from small farmers to baristas, from governmental actors to civil sociate, small/large traders and roasters actively participating in the International Coffee Week and in the different discussions,” concluded Buitrago.

For Tamara Barim, coordinator of the Platform in Brazil, the event was successful for two reasons. It allowed the team to present GCP Brazil’s Plan 2030 alongside important members and partners to a broad audience, at an event so representative as SIC. “It also marked the beginning of the discussions around regenerative agriculture within our governance (Brazil Working Group), a collaborative process that will lead to the definition of practices and indicators needed to lay the foundation of our work with the sector in the years to come, given the new dynamics of the coffee market, in Brazil and abroad”.