GLOBAL COFFEEPLATFORM

More sustainability schemes align through GCP and the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code

Seven additional sustainability schemes have been recognized by GCP as equivalent to the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code.

BONN, GERMANY (28 November 2023). Seven sustainability schemes have been newly recognized by the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) as equivalent to the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code (Coffee SR Code), demonstrating the drive for critical sector alignment needed for coffee sustainability.  

“We’re delighted to add seven more names to the list of sustainability schemes GCP recognizes as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code this year,” said GCP Executive Director, Annette Pensel.  

“We applaud the action by these GCP Members to step up and align as a sector. This commitment to the use of a common language and the increasing openness to transparency is a critical feature to understanding, advancing and accelerating coffee sustainability together.”  

GCP announced today the recognition of Exportadora de Café Guaxupé’s Guaxupé Planet, Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe’s NKG Bloom, ofi’s AtSourceV and AtSource+, Racafé’s CRECER, and 3E® by RGC Coffee as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code, 2nd party assurance.  

The number of sustainability schemes recognized by GCP as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code now amounts to 17, further expanding the critical mass to advance and accelerate coffee sustainability.  

Sector alignment for coffee sustainability

All GCP-recognized sustainability schemes went through a thorough assessment for equivalence. It has been a year since GCP released the Equivalence Mechanism 2.0, which saw the tool being strengthened with stricter sustainability criteria (aligned with the  Coffee SR Code) and operational criteria. The Coffee SR Code is a sector-wide reference on the foundations of sustainability in economic, social and environmental dimensions for green coffee production and primary processing worldwide. In addition, the GCP Equivalence Mechanism defines the set of operational criteria that ensures a credible and effective system for implementation and includes governance, standard-setting, assurance, data and claims requirements. 

For the assessment of the sustainability schemes, GCP partnered with the International Trade Centre, which, as GCP’s implementation partner, assessed the schemes against the principles and practices of the Coffee SR Code and the operational criteria of the Equivalence Mechanism 2.0, ensuring the integrity of the recognition process.

All sustainability schemes recognized by GCP are eligible for roasters and retailers to be included in the annual GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases, another way companies are aligning and increasing transparency to advance coffee sustainability globally.  

The Equivalence Mechanism, together with the Coffee SR 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. 

The summary report of the 2022 Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases was published in September and the next round of reporting on 2023 coffee volumes is set to begin in Q2, 2024.  

This is the third and last round of sustainability schemes that GCP has announced as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code under the Equivalence Mechanism 2.0 in 2023. The transition period from schemes that have been recognized as equivalent to previous versions of the Equivalence Mechanism has ended. Applications are now open for additional schemes interested in being assessed. The next round of assessment is planned to be announced at the end of March 2024 and schemes included in that round will be eligible – together with all the schemes recognized in 2023 – for reporting in the upcoming GCP Collective Reporting on 2023 Sustainable Coffee Purchases.  


”GCP’s recognition of Guaxupé Planet as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code, 2nd party assurance, validates our dedication and efforts to coffee sustainability. It gives more visibility and trustworthiness  to our program across different markets. It helps to assure the protocol’s modern, credible and feasible sustainable structure. It strengthens our partnerships with the sector, aiming at continuous improvement in sustainable actions, sharing responsibilities, and creating initiatives contributing to a long-term sustainable coffee production, leaving a better world for the future generations.”

Flávia Barbosa Paulino da Costa
Executive Director, Exportadora de Café Guaxupé

“The GCP recognition of the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code, 2nd party assurance, is another valuable external acknowledgement of our 20-years-long dedication to secure the long-term supply of sustainable high-quality coffee and help improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers. ​With the AAA Program we are partnering with farmers and world-leading experts in sustainability, to ensure the AAA Program is creating a real and lasting positive impact.’’  

Jérôme Perez
Global Head Sustainability Nespresso

“We are honoured with GCP’s recognition of NKG Bloom as Coffee SR Code equivalent, 2nd party and that our sustainability initiatives, NKG Verified and Bloom, are both aligned with the Coffee SR Code and the EM 2.0. This recognition strengthens our goal to improve the livelihoods of 300,000 coffee farming families by 2030. NKG is proud of the work of our local teams, who are supporting smallholder farmers on the ground to reach their full potential and find a way out of poverty.” 

Ruben Scholz
Group COO, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe

“We are very pleased that AtSourceV and AtSource+ have been recognized by GCP as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code, 2nd party assurance. ofi has always been committed and active in relevant multi-stakeholder efforts to bring systemic positive change to global agriculture and agri-supply chains, and our continued engagement with GCP is a proof of this. Hence, we strongly supported the revised Coffee SR Code and have also worked in parallel on upgrading our AtSource system to reflect expectations from our customers and civil society to bring this change. This recognition supports our ambition to create a significant and positive impact on farmer livelihoods and the environment in coffee growing regions worldwide. As a result, our coffee customers can continue to include AtSourceV and AtSource+ volumes as ‘sustainable coffee purchased’ under the GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases, which will help them meet their commitments and targets.” 

Juan Antonio Rivas
Global Head, Sustainable Business Development, olam food ingredients

“GCP’s recognition of CRECER 2.0 as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code, 2nd party assurance, demonstrates our clear commitment to implementing concrete actions aimed at improving the sustainability of our value chain and providing this validation to our customers and producers. By achieving this recognition, Racafé ratifies its desire to support a thriving, sustainable coffee industry for generations to come. Racafé will continue working as a GCP Member towards sustainability, alongside other leading organizations.”  

Camila Cortes, Sustainability Director, Racafé
Ivan Dario, Field Manager, Racafé

“RGC Coffee is delighted that 3E® by RGC Coffee has been recognized by GCP as equivalent to the Coffee SR Code, 2nd party assurance. 3E® by RGC Coffee has evolved into a voluntary sustainability scheme, ensuring sustainable coffee supply chains. This acknowledgment validates that 3E® by RGC aligns with global principles, empowering us to expand our impact, leveraging the commercialization of sustainable coffee to transform coffee supply chains into resource-positive systems that allow families to thrive while reducing their carbon footprint, safeguarding nature, and ensuring the long-term.”

Angela Pelaez
Sustainability Director, RGC Coffee

SUSTAINABILITY SCHEMES
CURRENTLY RECOGNIZED BY GCP


EQUIVALENT TO THE COFFEE SR CODE

3rd PARTY
ASSURANCE

4C

Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard

2nd PARTY
ASSURANCE

ECOM’s SMS Verified

Enveritas’ Enveritas Green

Exportadora de Café Guaxupé’s Guaxupé Planet

Louis Dreyfus Company’s Responsible Sourcing Program Advanced

Mercon’s LIFT

Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program

Neumann Kaffee Gruppe’s NKG BLOOM and NKG Verified

 ofi’s AtSourceV and AtSource+

Racafé’s CRECER

 3E® by RGC Coffee

Sucafina’s IMPACT

Volcafe’s Volcafe Verified and Volcafe Excellence

What does it mean to be Equivalent 2nd 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 independent oversight of the competency of the entity performing the assessments/audits to ensure effectiveness and impartiality., this includes but goes beyond third-party audits at farm level.

2nd Party assurance is often referred to as verification and 3rd party assurance is often referred to as certification. The main differences between these two levels of assurance are that 3rd Party assurance:

i) includes the independent oversight of the competency of the entity performing the assessments/audits to ensure effectiveness and impartiality, this includes but goes beyond third-party audits at farm level
 ii) the scheme is not managed or owned by the certificate holder, audit firms, or buyer. 

What is the GCP Equivalence Mechanism?

The GCP Equivalence Mechanism is a framework developed by GCP to assess whether a scheme can be considered equivalent to the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code, a sector-wide reference on the foundations of sustainability in economic, social and environmental dimensions for green coffee production and primary processing worldwide. GCP’s Equivalence Process evaluates whether a sustainability scheme meets both the Code and a set of operational criteria (including governance, standard-setting, assurance, data and claims requirements). This helps to ensure that recognized sustainability schemes have a credible and effective system for implementation.

What is the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code (Coffee SR Code)?

The Coffee SR Code provides sustainability stakeholders with a simplified and fit-for-purpose framework to foster better understanding of principles that support baseline sustainable coffee production. In addition, it addresses ongoing challenges in the coffee sustainability landscape as well as key emerging concerns such as climate change, or diversity, equity and inclusion. The Code provides the sector with a common language to collectively advance farmers’ prosperity, social well-being, and the conservation of nature. It is available in Bahasa, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

What is GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases?

Through GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases, roasters and retailers commit to collectively and transparently report their sustainable coffee purchases in the annual GCP Snapshot. These leading coffee companies apply aligned reporting metrics that illustrate leadership, achievements and progress  to continually increase  their purchases of sustainable coffees from diverse origins worldwide.

Interested in reporting? Contact GCP to start now!

Start the GCP Equivalence Mechanism Process
Gelkha Buitrago

Director Programs and Corporate Partnershipsemail me