Global Coffee Platform

A new era in sustainability for the coffee sector

The client

The Global Coffee Platform is an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform aligning the activities of a diverse network of stakeholders to set into action the global commitments made through Vision2020 and create a thriving and sustainable coffee sector.

Tough challenge

Today’s coffee sector faces several significant challenges, such as the migration of younger generations out of coffee farming, and threats related to climate change, pest and disease outbreak and ageing trees. A lack of sector coordination means that there is no means of comparing data on the effectiveness of interventions, which creates barriers to identifying best and worst practices.

Shared opportunity

NewForesight has supported the coffee sector in organizing itself and driving sustainability forward to tackle the sector’s main issues. For example, we played an important role in setting up the Global Coffee Platform as an inclusive multi-stakeholder sustainability platform. The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) is the result of a merger between the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) and the 4C Association (4CA). The merger followed the separation between the 4CA and the 4C Standard, and the outsourcing of the Standard’s operations to a new company, Coffee Assurance Services (CAS).

We have been working with GCP since its official launch in 2016, but our partnership predates that launch. We developed the Sustainable Coffee Program with IDH in 2011, and managed the program during its merger with the 4C Association. Our work with the 4C Association also dates back to 2011, when we worked with them on the design of a new business model. In 2015, we helped the organization redefine itself, which lay the foundations for the merger with the SCP, and the separation of the 4C Standard and the 4CA. There is now a growing recognition that further steps in collaborative efforts are required for systemic change, and we see sector stakeholders acting upon that recognition.

ICO Vision 2020 Workshop (took place in 2016)

For a strategy to work the input from key stakeholders is essential. In line with our involvement in the development of Vision 2020, we supported GCP in the facilitation of a workshop with ICO and GCP members in September 2016. The workshop served the purpose of aligning stakeholders on the Vision 2020 content, and provided an opportunity to gather valuable input and engage stakeholders, and to energize them to take part in the realization of Vision 2020 for a truly sustainable coffee sector.

Vision 2020 Call for Collective Action and Workshop (took place in 2016)

Moving from strategy to implementation requires a comprehensive action plan and tools. We supported the 4C Association and IDH in developing the building blocks for further development of the Vision 2020 initiative - including a shared vision, approach, and reporting framework. We also facilitated the development of a Call for Collective Action, which was signed by over 30 leading organizations from the coffee sector. Both have strengthened the commitment of partners to Vision2020, and also encouraged other stakeholders to join the movement during the World Coffee Conference in Addis Ababa in March 2016.

Vision 2020 Stakeholder webinars (took place in 2015)

For a strategy to work the input from key stakeholders is essential. To involve all interested parties in the 4CA and SCP collaboration framework, we facilitated two webinar sessions in May 2015, enabling all stakeholders to participate by lowering the logistical barrier to join. The webinar introduced the wider coffee community to the objectives of the Vision 2020 campaign. The valuable input and broad engagement that resulted from these webinars strengthened engagement on a collaborative way of working that can structurally change the coffee sector.

4C Association Business Model Development (took place in 2011)

To improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of coffee production, all relevant coffee stakeholders must work together. To come to the stage of operationalizing a joint strategy, it is important to establish an organization that can implement such a strategy and ensure that it lasts over time. After having established its membership and operational procedures, we redefined the 4CA’s business model. The new model included some key changes, such as the separation of the 4C Standard and the 4C Association Platform, and also created the opportunity to move towards a fee-for-services model. With this, 4CA was well-equipped to become an impact-driven and financially sound association for the entire coffee sector.

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