ILO’s Vision Zero Fund and GCP join forces to promote occupational safety and health

GCP joined the #CoffeePeople campaign to promote the right to a safe and healthy working environment in the coffee supply chain.

BONN, GERMANY. (12 October 2023). The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Vision Zero Fund (VZF) and the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) have established a collaborative partnership to promote improvements in occupational safety and health (OSH) in the global coffee value chain, helping to reduce the risks faced daily by millions of coffee workers around the world.

Through this partnership, ILO VZF and GCP will work together to increase awareness of the risks and practical solutions related to OSH and encourage global and national stakeholders to promote, practice and ensure safe and healthy working conditions.

ILO VZF and GCP play a complementary role in promoting sustainable, responsible, and inclusive workplace practices in the coffee sector. That’s why, on this year’s International Coffee Day, the ILO VZF launched the #CoffeePeople campaign and a social media challenge around the theme “promoting the right to a safe and healthy working environment in the coffee supply chain”.

The ongoing campaign will seek the direct involvement of producing and consuming countries, international organizations active in the coffee sector, coffee companies, and celebrities.

Gelkha Buitrago, GCP’s Director of Programs and Corporate Partnerships, remarked that ensuring OSH along the coffee value chain is “essential to producing sustainable coffee”. The importance of OSH is reflected in the social pillar of the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code (Coffee SR Code), as well as the upcoming EU Corporate Due Diligence Directive.

“By renewing and deepening our partnership with the ICO, GCP acknowledges that public private dialogue, conducive policies, along with a mix of financing mechanisms to enable sector transformation, are essential to achieve our shared goals.”

“The signing of this partnership is very timely as the right to a safe and healthy working environment was recognized as a fundamental principle and right at work by the ILO last year”, said ILO VZF’s Global Programme Manager, Ockert Dupper.

“We are looking forward to sharing the research, tools and lessons learned that the Fund has amassed from its past five years of work on OSH in coffee supply chains. To do this, we are implementing a global communications campaign with the support of our partners.”

“This partnership will help to advance the GCP 2030 Goal of transformational change on the prosperity of more than one million farmers through sustainable coffee,and will contribute to GCP’s strategic work through its network of coffee sustainability platforms in producing countries.”

Gelkha Buitrago, GCP’s Director of Programs and Corporate Partnerships

By developing this partnership, GCP and ILO VZF are building on a previous successful collaboration to strengthen OSH in Vietnam’s coffee sector. The work has contributed to one of the main strategies of the GCP Country Plan for Farmer Prosperity in Vietnam – to accelerate the social sustainability of coffee production.

With the fund’s support, GCP in Vietnam is coordinating the revision of the Vietnamese National Sustainability Curriculum (NSC) for Arabica, which will be integrated with up-to-date information on OSH.

NSC are country-level guidelines on good agricultural and sustainability practices for coffee farming used by public and private extension services and are being revised to align with the Coffee SR Code (2021), a common language for the sector to collectively advance farmers’ prosperity, social well-being, and the conservation of nature. NSC contextualize the Coffee SR Code to the national coffee sector and are therefore a vital tool for alignment on what constitutes sustainable production and building farmers’ capacity.

Lessons from this GCP and ILO VZF collaboration will be shared with the GCP Network of Country Platforms, which spans 10 of the world’s key coffee producing countries. Other examples of GCP’s efforts to promote social well-being as integrated part of sustainable coffee advancement include a GCP Collective Action Initiative on Social Well-being in Brazil, which focuses on improving the living and working conditions of coffee farming communities.

The secret to great coffee is that it’s sustainably produced! GCP has aligned the global coffee sector on defining sustainable coffee in the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code, a common language that includes access to a safe and healthy work environment as one of the principles to achieve it. Occupational health and safety are key to reaching GCP’s 2030 Goal of transformational change on prosperity for smallholder farmers and improving the well-being of all coffee chain members.

Join the challenge! Take a selfie with a cup of coffee and post it with a caption that acknowledges the workers who produced it. Use the hashtag #CoffeePeople and your post will help to raise awareness about the ILO’s Vision Zero Fund’s work to protect their safety and health.

Global Coffee Platform

The Global Coffee Platform is a unique multi-stakeholder membership association of coffee producers, traders, roasters and retailers, civil society, associations, governments and donors, united under a common vision to work collectively towards a thriving, sustainable coffee sector for generations to come. GCP Members believe that sustainability is a shared responsibility to enhance farmers’ economic prosperity, improve well-being, and conservation of nature. With its diverse and committed membership and its network of 10 country platforms across the globe, GCP aims to achieve transformational change for more than one million coffee farmers by 2030.

Contact GCP:

ILO’s Vision Zero Fund

The ILO’s Vision Zero Fund is based on a model of collective action that mobilizes a wide range of stakeholders, including global business, to develop and implement joint solutions to endemic safety and health challenges in global supply chains. It is active in the agriculture, construction, and garment/textiles supply chains, and currently implements projects in eight countries on three continents. Vision Zero Fund is an integral part of the ILO’s Flagship Programme Safety + Health for All that aims to improve the health and safety of all workers worldwide. It is an initiative of the G7 and has been endorsed by the G20. Vision Zero Fund is part of Safety & Health for All, an ILO flagship programme building a culture of safe, healthy work. This programme is funded by the European Union.

Contact ILO: