Sustainable sourcing for a prosperous coffee sector: companies’ involvement is key to leading the way

GCP Collective Reporting is a transparency tool helping the sector to achieve its sustainable goals. Find out why leading coffee companies are sharing their sustainable coffee purchase progress and why they are calling on more companies to participate.

The demand for transparent information on corporate sustainability strategies and the progress being made by companies is constantly increasing among consumers, shareholders, and the finance sector. Transparency is not only key to understanding where the sector stands, but also crucial to driving coffee sustainability and impactful progress being achieved.

GCP Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases is one such tool providing the sector with previously unseen transparent data, helping to identify areas of growth and decline, and providing insights into areas that need to be tackled in the transition of the entire coffee market to sustainable sourcing. By defining common metrics and coherently reporting sustainable purchases over time, the GCP Snapshot provides a moving picture of the transformation of the sector.

Reflecting and celebrating progress was the focus of the GCP Snapshot of Sustainable Coffee Purchases 2022 webinar, where stakeholders from across the coffee value chain gathered to discuss sustainable coffee purchases and highlights of the report. Speakers from different key organizations also shared insights on the importance of sourcing and their experience in achieving equivalence of their sustainability schemes to the GCP Coffee Sustainability Reference Code.

“If we really want to talk about transformative change and we want to see a sector that has prosperous farmers and a thriving nature for the future so that we can continue to enjoy this amazing beverage, I think we all need to pull up our sleeves and join [this reporting] and the transparency that that offers,” said JDE Peet’s Sustainability Director, Nadia Hoarau-Mwaura.

Since the first edition of GCP Snapshot in 2018, the number of companies reporting has grown from four to eight, but Hoarau-Mwaura insists that this is not enough. “We can now report collectively, we have common metrics, common KPIs and we can actually be transparent about this but that doesn’t stop the challenges that we have on the sourcing part, and with the farmers there are so many topics coming up.”

Challenges such as upcoming legislation were brought up. Not only does pre-competitive collaboration provide the opportunity to report and drive coffee sustainability collectively, but also provides insights into how the sector is dealing with these challenges. This was highlighted as a benefit for João Paulo Custódio de Brito, Sustainability Supervisor, Exportadora Guaxupé, who said working with GCP’s Equivalence Process and becoming eligible for reporting in the Snapshot resulted in the expansion of the company’s sustainability protocols, “such as ILO conventions, corporate governance and references of trainings for coffee growers. We value that support very much.”

For the Head of Strategy & ESG at Nestlé Coffee Brands, Daniele Buzzeti, raising awareness about sustainable coffee is an opportunity in two aspects: collective collaboration and consumer engagement.

“There is a unique power in coming together and working collectively to improve the quality and quantity of coffee production while creating shared value. This is essential to ensuring the future of coffee and the next generation of farmers to come.”

Daniele Buzzeti, Head of Strategy & ESG at Nestlé Coffee Brands

While there is still much work to be done, the annual GCP Snapshot is an important contribution to increased transparency and monitoring of progress on sustainable coffee purchases. The report contributes to our shared goal to empower the production and consumption of sustainable, profitable coffees from diverse origins as ways to contribute to farmers’ prosperity, improved well-being, and conservation of nature.

For Melitta Group’s Head of Sustainability Strategy, Sarah-Ruth Brinkman, “only a shared responsibility and a reliable co-creation among GCP Members can make a significant and positive impact towards economically viable coffee farmers and communities.”

For GCP’s Executive Director, Annette Pensel, the Snapshot 2022 discloses that although hugely important work is underway, even bolder individual and collaborative efforts are needed. “To achieve transformational change that results in economic viability of sustainable coffee farming and a living income for producers and workers while preserving nature and addressing climate change effectively, we need more collective action and collective investments today,” added Pensel.

What participating companies say about Collective Reporting?

“GCP Equivalence Mechanism has portrayed the ways to fulfill continuous practices as well as critical practices in the coffee that are crucial to embrace sustainability in the coffee sector. And as GCP has made its requirement wider in Version 2.0, we value the broad areas that it connects and expands to.”

Kedar Nepal – Sustainability Manager, 4C Services GmbH

“The industry needed somebody with credibility to spread the word about the alternatives the community has to implement sustainability from farm to cup but also to audit the different solutions offered.”

Teddy Esteve – Managing Director, ECOM

“Enveritas welcomes industry efforts to establish a common set of baseline principles for sustainability. The GCP Equivalence Mechanism allows us to test and strengthen our standards and practices to ensure we are providing the most robust and equitable verification system possible.”

Joanna Nairn – Deputy GC and Director of Standards, Enveritas

“We found real value in the GCP Equivalence Mechanism, as a demanding process which provides an independent, trusted and widely accepted recognition of the robustness and credibility of LDC’s RSP Advanced scheme.”

Ben Clarkson – Global Head of Coffee, Louis Dreyfus Company

“The GCP Equivalence mechanism is a valuable industry tool which opens to the possibility of expanding the scope of responsible sourcing programs under a common, shared and agreed set of criteria. We value the participation of LIFT by Mercon to increase our ability to service and enhance farmers’ prosperity.”

Giacomo Celi – Sustainability Director, Mercon Coffee Group

“GCP brings together and unites the different links in the coffee chain, which is very important so that we can work on sustainability together.”

Julian Silva Carvalho – Secretaria de Estado de Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento, Minas Gerais 

“The GCP Equivalence Mechanism allows existing coffee certification and verification programs to be assessed in line with this common reference and operational criteria. It helps harmonize core sustainability principles in various programs, increases transparency about these programs and acts as an independent recognition process for the sector.”

Marcelo Burity – Head of Green Coffee Development, Nestlé Nespresso SA

“We believe that only a shared responsibility and a reliable co-creation among GCP Members can make a significant and positive impact towards economically viable coffee farmers and communities.”

Sarah-Ruth Brinkmann – Head of Sustainability Strategy, Melitta Group

“It allows us to ‘democratize’ and broaden an otherwise very traditional and niche part of the sustainable coffee trade by allowing operators such as ofi, which bring a different set of capabilities (e.g., implementation, innovation, digitalization, agility and overall closeness to the sector realities and multiple challenges), to present their programs to be assessed against the CSRC.”

Juan Antonio Rivas – Global Head – Sustainable Business Development at Olam Food Ingredients, ofi

“The Equivalence Mechanism sets the baseline for VSS to have the minimum requirements for improving sustainability in the coffee sector.”

Miguel Gamboa – Coffee Sector Lead, Rainforest Alliance

“The GCP Equivalence Mechanism enables all of us in the coffee industry to speak a common language and adhere to a shared standard which facilitates responsibly sourced coffee sales and uniformity in reporting. Through the combination of requirements, the Equivalence Mechanism is driving more sustainable coffee production and more robust assurance across many value chains.”
Liesbeth Kamphuis – Global Sustainability Director, Volcafe

Take a step forward: report sustainable coffee purchases

GCP invites coffee roasters and retailers to participate in the next round of Collective Reporting on Sustainable Coffee Purchases for the calendar year 2023. If you are interested in reporting, please contact the team for information on how your company can join and take advantage of this leadership opportunity.

The annual GCP Snapshot contributes to our shared goal to empower the production and consumption of sustainable, profitable coffees from diverse coffee origins as ways to contribute to farmers’ prosperity, improved well-being, and conservation of nature.

Catch up with the webinar

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Mary Petitt

GCP Senior Advisoremail me

Caroline Glowka

Senior Manager Member Relationsemail me