With funding from the US Department of Labor, Verité is launching a three-year Cooperation On Fair, Free, Equitable Employment (COFFEE) project.
The project involves the creation of a robust compliance system and toolkit on improving labour conditions in the coffee sector, as well as training and guidance on implementation of the toolkit.
The project includes three pilot programmes in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, during which selected tools and innovative practices will be implemented.
It is based on a process of stakeholder consultation to ensure that the perspectives and interests of all stakeholder groups are taken into consideration.
The framework for a social compliance system will be based on the US Department of Labour’s Comply Chain model, as well as practical tools aligned with all eight steps of Comply Chain:
- stakeholder engagement
- risk and impact assessment
- development of robust standards
- communication and training on standards across the supply chain
- monitoring for compliance
- remediating violations
- seeking independent verification, and
- reporting on performance.
Verité has previously carried out research on labour issues in the coffee sector in the three pilot countries of Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Additionally, there already exists private sector interest in implementing projects to address the issues identified.
Verité will co-design the pilot programmes based on input from partners and international and national-level stakeholder consultations, as well as research findings, to ensure that the pilots are appropriate for the sector and country context and are economically feasible for – and have the support of – key stakeholder groups.
The pilot projects will utilize the guidance and tools created through the COFFEE Project to effect change at a regional level in each of the three countries, and on-the-ground learnings from these pilots will be used to refine the toolkit.