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The World Coffee Producers Forum meeting in Campinas in Brazil concluded with the publication of a joint declaration outlining measures producers plan to take to alleviate the effects of low prices and create a more sustainable coffee supply chain.

At the 10-11 July 2019 meeting producers heard from sustainability expert Professor Jeffery Sachs about a plan he has conceived to tackle the effects of the coffee price crisis.

Professor Sachs called for the creation of a Global Coffee Fund to help farmers, that would be used to ensure that coffee-growing was sustainable in future. He proposed that US$10 billion a year be invested in the fund, with an initial contribution of US$2.5 billion from industry. Another US$2.5 billion would come from public and private contributions. Without this kind of support, he suggested, coffee farmers would not be able to remain in the sector, farms would be deserted and migration from coffee-growing countries would increase.

In a statement released when the event concluded, the forum highlighted the need to use new technology to bring producers and consumers closer together and enable a larger share of the value created in the coffee chain to reach farmers. The statement also highlighted the importance of stimulating global coffee consumption – especially in producing countries and emerging markets – in order secure a better balance between supply and demand and help drive up farmer incomes.

The statement from the farmer forum listed a number of resolutions, including the creation of platform to “aggregate and make available information and numbers to all segments of the coffee value chain, in a manner that creates transparency in business and price formulation.”

The forum also resolved to develop a mechanism that would make information from producers available to consumers and promote producer training and technical assistance to enable farmers have to have better understanding of market risks.

The members of the forum said they also want to stimulate the development of innovative strategies and campaigns to promote coffee consumption, and develop mechanisms, marketing strategies and technology that can help farmers earn a fairer price for their coffee through the use of sustainability seals such as ‘roasted at origin’ and others demonstrating to consumers that a fair price had been paid for the coffee.

The forum also wants to encourage producer countries to develop national plans for a sustainable coffee sector.

In order to progress their plan, the World Coffee Producer’s Forum committee is to press ahead with the creation of a legal entity to continue to plan and execute its strategy and plans to hold the next World Coffee Producers Forum meeting in 2021.

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