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The World Coffee Producers Forum is to start a process to formalize its structure as a not-for-profit organization that will address challenges facing coffee growers.

At a meeting in Mexico City 8-12 April 2018, the World Coffee Producers Forum met to discuss a range of topics concerning the sustainability of the global coffee value chain and in the decline in coffee farmers’ incomes.

Among the topics discussed was the need to take action to improve producers’ incomes through joint work with the rest of the supply chain on initiatives that will translate into increased consumption and higher coffee prices. Other topics addressed at the meeting included the consequences of climate change and measures to enhance productivity in coffee-producing countries.

As agreed during its last meeting in Colombia in July 2017, the WCPF commissioned a study by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN General Secretary on the Sustainability Development Goals and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, to conduct research on Economic and Policy Analysis for Improving Smallholder Coffee Producers’ Incomes.

The initial structure of the study was presented by Professor Sachs to delegates at the ICO meeting in Mexico this month. Partial results and findings will be presented in September 2018 and March 2019. The final report will be presented at the 2nd World Coffee Producers Forum in July 2019.

The representatives of the WCPF will ask the ICO to help implement some of the initiatives, such as promotion of consumption in producing countries and emerging markets and facilitate the dialogue among all the actors in the coffee chain.

“We need to ensure that coffee production is sustainable and profitable while making sure that that there will be a strong global demand for our product. Coordinated actions among producers, producers’ associations, the coffee industry and the ICO to increase consumption in emerging markets and producing countries are crucial,” said Silas Brasileiro, President of the Conselho Nacional de Café of Brazil.

Ishak Lukenge, a Board Member at the African Fine Coffees Association, said “at the current price levels, coffee is just not economically sustainable for millions of coffee farmers in Africa and all over the world.”

Ric Rhinehardt, President of the Specialty Coffee Association, said “today’s consumers are discerning and demand excellent quality, but also the assurance that their coffee is being produced in a sustainable manner.”

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