GCP Member Assembly 2023
Five key highlights

GCP Members reunited for the in-person GCP Member Assembly 2023,
which took place on June 27 in Bonn, Germany.

The Assembly brought together over 120 participants, opening a space for exchange between the GCP Membership community, national and international coffee sector stakeholders and sustainability experts to celebrate progress, discuss new opportunities and to learn more about GCP 2.0 and our 2030 goal of transformational change.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the annual membership gathering and the insights into how GCP and members are Championing Coffee Sustainability together.

1. GCP 2.0 secures $1.5m in first funding round

The GCP Member Assembly 2023 began with the announcement of eight leading members championing the launch of a new era of collective action in coffee sustainability by committing a combined $1.5m for the first phase of GCP 2.0. This commitment marks the first milestone of the GCP’s new strategic direction, an effort to significantly advance coffee smallholders’ sustainability and prosperity.

“This targeted co-funding by our membership kick-starts our work, catalyzing transformational change around living income, climate adaptation and sustainability for over one million coffee farmers around the world,” explained GCP Executive Director Annette Pensel. The funding GCP Members are JDE Peet’s, Melitta Group, Mother Parkers’ Coffee & Tea, Nescafé, Nespresso, ofi (olam food ingredients), Rabobank and Westrock Coffee Company.

In announcing the news, Pensel thanked the participating companies for taking bold and extraordinary steps. “It’s easy to talk about collective action. It’s easy to say we need to work together, but all of you know it that sometimes is very hard to get it done. We thank these eight GCP Members that have stepped over and above the membership fee and the current contributions to collective action; for stepping up and helping us reach the significant amount of $1.5 million, representing our first major milestone in achieving GCP’s 2030 Goal, significantly advancing smallholders’ prosperity and sustainability .”

2. GCP welcomes new members

GCP celebrated a growing membership as it officially welcomed 17 new members from across the coffee value chain and from around the coffee world. The assembly was an opportunity to introduce the newcomers to the critical work being done to drive farmer sustainability, and to encourage further involvement in the opportunities presented by GCP 2.0.

The event was also an opportunity for members old and new to network and exchange knowledge and perspectives on how to collectively advance towards a sustainable and thriving coffee sector for generations to come.

3. National coffee sector leaders share insights into challenges faced

National Coffee Sector Leaders from Brazil, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, and Vietnam were invited to share critical insights on the main challenges faced by coffee farmers. These experts also reflected on why the GCP Country Plan for Farmer Prosperity, which were presented to the membership during the event, represented a step towards addressing these challenges in their country. 

“Our main challenge is climate change…We need to be together to understand how we can improve the livelihoods of our producers, how we can help them, or encourage them to build their landscapes in a more sustainable way, and how they can build by thinking about good agriculture practices.”

Natalia Fernandez Carr
Technical Advisor, National Coffee Council Brazil

“We have a lack of effectiveness in coffee farming. The coffee farmer now is not earning money and that’s a big issue. [Farmers] cannot invest in integrated growth management; this problem pushes the migration [of coffee workers] from the rural areas to the city and also outside the country, so labor is a big issue there as well.”

Nelson Omar Fúnez
Executive Secretary, National Coffee Council of Honduras (CONACAFE)

“We have very low productivity. We are second in acres only after Brazil, but our productivity is fourth after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia. This is due to a lack of information and good agriculture practices, so we made the National Sustainability Curriculum and we have a master trainer program.”

Wildan Mustofa
Secretary Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI)

“We have policy issues that definitely affect productivity. For example, we had elections last year and when you have a new team in the government, you also have new policies coming, which can create disturbances. We also have the upcoming EU regulations on deforestation. The Kenya Coffee Platform together with stakeholders is starting to map out how we, as a country, would like to give our recommendations on how that should be handled.”

Karugu Macharia
Vice Chairman of AFCA and Chairman, Kenya Coffee Platform (KCP)

“When we are talking about smallholder farmers, who contribute about 80% of the total production in Uganda, there are about 1.8 million farmers, which is almost the highest number in the world. Coffee is a very strategic enterprise in Uganda, contributing about 20% of exports of the country and we are working to address a number of challenges.”

Robert Nangatsa
Extension Manager, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA)

4. Advancing GCP 2.0 with Country Plans

The six GCP Country Platforms shared new Country Plans, recently developed as part of GCP’s new two-tier strategy to advance farmer prosperity. During two deep-dive sessions, each platform showed an overview of their country’s challenges, proposed solutions, and the specific strategies to reach the country goal and ultimately contribute to the GCP 2030 Goal by closing at least 25% of the living income gap for more than one million smallholder farmers in more than 10 countries. Thanks to the valuable input and advice provided by participating GCP Members, the Country Plans are going to be further refined to be implemented thereafter.

Annette Pensel explained how the multi-year plans will contribute to achieving the GCP 2030 Goal. The newly developed plans will be accompanied by country impact reports “because we want to better understand how the strategies that we will roll out in entrepreneurial ways – in ways that are owned by farmers and the local stakeholders in countries to address and overcome these changes – are working, so that we can pivot accordingly. We are developing and enhancing strategies that are bringing measurable progress towards our goal.”

5. We’ve come a long way!

In reflecting on the journey from GCP 1.0 to 2.0, GCP Board Chair Carlos Brando remarked on the great strides taken by the platform at a pivotal time – when action for farmer prosperity and conservation of nature needed to be amplified and scaled. The growth of the platform and the commitment of members to work collectively and pre-competitively demonstrated through concrete actions such as the kick-off funding, indicated that the GCP 2030 Goal was in sight. Coupled with the positive responses and sentiment felt during the assembly, Brando said he was excited with what was still to come.

GCP has moved a long, long way. It’s really great to compare where we are in this Member Assembly to where we were five years before the pandemic; we have really moved a long way. This has been a wonderful gathering with a lot of volume and testimonies, which means you really appreciate the work the platform is doing. This is the beginning of the dream of a virtuous circle.

Carlos Brando, Board Director GCP