GCP, ICO and BMZ commit to cooperation for a sustainable and prosperous coffee sector

GCP, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have signed a declaration to strengthen their collaborative work towards a true sustainable transformation of the global coffee sector. The declaration addresses the key issues of living income and farmer prosperity, market transparency, gender equity, and enabling policies and institutions.

The signing of the declaration followed a special event on the inauguration day of Berlin’s International Green Week, the world’s largest agricultural and food trade fair, on 19 January 2024. The event, titled “From bean to cup to cooperation”, featured Annette Pensel, Executive Director of GCP, Dr. Vanusia Nogueira, Executive Director of the ICO, and Ariane Hildebrandt, Director General of BMZ, who would go on to sign the declaration, as well as Stefan Canz, Corporate Sustainable Agriculture Lead for Coffee and Cacao of Nestlé, who provided insights from the private sector.

“Global and local multistakeholder cooperation is essential to meaningful sector transformation. It is only through focused collective action that we can tackle the threats to sustainable coffee production and consumption,” said Pensel during the panel discussion.

Vanusia Nogueira (ICO), Ariane Hildebrandt (BMZ), and Annette Pensel (GCP) are pictured at the signing of the Joint Declaration.

Leveraging complementary strengths

Acknowledging the ambitious sector-level goals of the 2030 Roadmap agreed upon and adopted by the International Coffee Council (ICC) and Coffee Private Public Task Force (CPPTF), the signing reaffirms the commitment to the common vision, which can be propelled through the potential in the “distinct and complementary strengths” of BMZ, ICO and GCP, said ICO’s Nogueira.

“We are united in our pursuit of a prosperous future for the farmers behind the 2.94 billion cups of coffee we consume every day”.

In particular, BMZ demonstrates how political leadership can drive structural global change to achieve sustainable agricultural value chain, with Hildebrandt underscoring Germany‘s dedication in its support to “the advancement of the global coffee sector towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient future”.

Complementing this, ICO convenes coffee exporting and importing countries and their governments alongside the private sector to strengthen policy dialogue for harmonious change and coherence of action, while GCP provides a unique delivery structure for collective action that functions between the global agenda, a broad multistakeholder membership, national coffee sustainability platforms, and farmer-centric, entrepreneurial program.

Pensel highlighted the importance of integrating the knowledge of the local producers and of making the coffee sector attractive for the younger generations.

Achieving real impact

The shared vision behind the declaration centers on economic resilience, celebrates the diversity of coffee origins, and champions environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Central to this commitment is addressing the root causes of the many social and economic obstacles faced by producers. To overcome these challenges, drive the prosperity of farming communities and to nurture a thriving coffee sector, the signatories intensify their collaboration to ensure a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient coffee sector and enable compliance and impact within regulatory frameworks.

The declaration also highlights the importance of harnessing multilateral dialogue and includes a commitment to further mobilize and align actors and resources from governments, the private sector and civil society.

“GCP has been working with coffee-producing countries, our GCP Membership and partners to address systemic issues hindering the development and prosperity of coffee farming communities,” said Pensel.

Stefan Canz, Corporate Sustainable Agriculture Lead for Coffee and Cacao of Nestlé, highlighted the vital role of GCP on convening the coffee sector.