The Global Coffee Platform has called for ‘urgent, global, collective action’ to address the price crisis threatening the lives of millions of smallholder coffee farmers.
“The GCP believes that the economic viability of coffee farming is key to ensuring sustainable livelihoods in coffee producing communities throughout the world. However, current and persistent low international coffee prices have caused severe damage to the viability of sustainable coffee production and are harming coffee farming families, “ said the CGP in a statement.
“Through GCP’s partnership with the International Coffee Organization (ICO), in support of ICO Resolution 465, and with reference to the World Coffee Producers Forum (WCPF), we acknowledge that the entire global coffee sector bears a responsibility to foster a path towards a reasonable living income for coffee producers, and to help ensure the economic viability of coffee farming worldwide.”
The GCP has called on all coffee industry stakeholders and partners to take action. This includes, firstly, engaging with the international coffee exchanges in the US and EU to enhance coffee futures contracts as genuine and effective price-discovery tools. This includes the regulation of high frequency, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic trade to minimize excessive speculative participation.
The GCP also wants to encourage roasters and retailers to make forward-looking and increasing commitments to sourcing sustainable coffee with remunerative prices that allow for investments in sustainable coffee production and transparently report volumes of sustainable coffee purchased on an annual basis to encourage diversity of sourcing; and promote consumption of sustainable coffee whilst enabling greater participation of smallholder farmers to manage their farms as businesses.
Thirdly, said the GCP, it wants to ‘activate’ stakeholders in producing countries – including governments, producers, businesses and donors – to foster a business environment for sustainable coffee production through public-private country platforms; reduce inefficiencies and increase transparency along the supply chain to ensure that the farmer receives a higher percentage of the price; promote hedging strategies and insurance schemes in order to protect coffee growers’ margins; and encourage income diversification for smallholder coffee farmers in collaboration with governments, private sector, donors and NGOs.
Last, but not least the GCP wants to mobilize governmental agencies, the private sector, and civil society to achieve policy changes that enable a living income and the economic viability of coffee farming; explore practical ways to channel revenues from taxes generated specifically by coffee (excise, specific, tariffs) directly to coffee farmers, and design innovative solutions to fund sustainability initiatives, for example through ‘check-off’ programmes.