KÖLN, Germany – 4C announces the launch of the public consultation for its new Gender Equality Add-on. With this additional voluntary certification, 4C promotes the continuous improvement towards more gender equality in coffee production. The core 4C code of conduct does not allow for discrimination and requires that equal rights are secured with respect to gender.
The Gender Equality Add-on
Yet, 4C sees further potential to address the existing disparities and promote women empowerment on a global scale. Therefore, 4C now provides a solution for its system users who wish to address the need for gender equality on a deeper level: The “4C Gender Equality Add-on” (GE Add-on).
The GE Add-on is a set of practical principles and criteria for continuously improving gender equality in coffee producing groups. While women empowerment is crucial in many coffee growing regions, the Add-on aims to include entire coffee growing families in capacity building and awareness-raising activities.
The GE Add-on audit checklist is structured in economic and social dimensions and consists of a set of principles, criteria, and checkpoints. 4C system users can apply it voluntarily to identify gender inequalities at farm level and create action plans to work on eradicating these step-by-step.
The GE Add-on certification
The GE Add-on’s continuous improvement framework and corresponding levels of gender awareness are based on the “Gender Equality Continuum” tool developed by the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG).
The GE Add-on certification can be used by 4C system users to demonstrate and communicate their efforts and progress towards ensuring gender equality in the production of green coffee beans. Once certified for the Add-on, a system user has the right to make use of the 4C Gender Equality logo on-pack and in other communication activities.
Women play a significant role in the coffee industry. The International Coffee Organization reported in 2018 that up to 70% of labor in coffee production is provided by women, while only between 20% and 30% of coffee farms are female-operated.
Women tend to have little say in farm decision-making processes and lack access to essential resources. Considering the important work done by women in coffee production, allowing them equal access to resources and education could increase agricultural production in developing countries by 20 to 30%, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
4C is a leading sustainability certification scheme for the entire coffee sector. 4C certification focuses on good agricultural and management practices, including requirements on economic, social and environmental conditions for coffee production and processing in order to establish credible sustainable and transparent supply chains.
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