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Ico to host interactive workshop on coffee price volatility and sustainability in Rome

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LONDON – An interactive workshop on ‘Price volatility and sustainability: Development challenges and solutions for smallholder farmers in the coffee value chain’, will be held as part of EXCO 2019 – the first international exhibition dedicated to international cooperation – on 16 May 2019 from 11:15 to 13:00 in Rome, Italy.

Hosted by the ICO, in partnership with the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, this workshop forms part of the ICO’s ‘Structured Sector-Wide Dialogue’, which the ICO is leading as part of its actions to implement Resolution 465 on Coffee Price Levels.

Participants will focus on the sustainability of the coffee sector to give an opportunity to understand the constraints and the sustainability challenges of the coffee value chain and to identify innovative solutions, focusing on price volatility, productivity and climate change.

The discussion at EXCO2019 will seek to identify potential public-private partnerships to find solutions for the coffee sector to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

In September 2018, at its 122nd Session in London, the International Coffee Council – the highest authority of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) – adopted Resolution 465 on “coffee price levels”, to address the impact of low prices on the livelihoods of coffee farmers as well as the long-term sustainability of the sector.

This Resolution provides the ICO with a strong mandate to respond to current low coffee prices through a sector-wide stakeholders’ dialogue that engages all value chain actors as well as the international community.


The objective of the Sector Dialogue is to (i) identify long-term and transformational solutions that can be implemented jointly by coffee growers and other sector stakeholders to address price levels and volatility, and (ii) foster commitments by ICO Member governments and downstream coffee value chain actors (traders, roasters, retailers) to endorse and support the implementation of recommended solutions to foster the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the sector.

This dialogue is being implemented through: a Sustainability Seminar in Nairobi (March 2019), two events at the United Nations HQ (April 2019), the workshop at EXCO 2019 in Rome (May 2019) and a forthcoming symposium at the European Commission in Brussels (June 2019).

This process culminates in a CEO Forum involving industry leaders and top policy-makers to be held as part of the 125th Session of the International Coffee Council from 23-27 September 2019 in London, where a joint declaration of intent with concrete actions and a roadmap is expected to be signed.

The significant platform provided by EXCO2019 – the first global international cooperation expo – which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, together with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and by the European Commission´s Directorate-General for Cooperation and Development, is a key component of the ICO’s strategy.

The ICO-led workshop on 16 May will engage representatives of the coffee industry, financial institutions, governments, development agencies, international organizations and NGOs that support the coffee sector.

The Workshop, in Davos style, will also provide the opportunity to discuss the development of joint programmes (ICO, FAO, IFAD, UNIDO, Italian Cooperation…) on the coffee value chain, livelihood and decent income for smallholder farmers and sustainability.

Participants will explore constraints, sustainability challenges and opportunities for the coffee sector, as well identify innovative solutions, including public-private partnerships options.

The focus will be on development programmes and projects addressing the social and economic impact on coffee farmers of price levels and volatility, climate change and low productivity, in order to fight poverty and increase the sustainability of the coffee sector as a whole. These efforts will also contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Introduction and moderator, Gerardo Patacconi, Head of Operations, ICO

PANEL I: Challenges and opportunities of the Coffee Sector: Development Cooperation and Public-Private Partnerships to meet the SDGs

  • José Sette, Executive Director, International Coffee Organization (ICO)
  • Andrea Illy, Chairman, illycaffè Spa
  • Gloria Isabel Ramírez Ríos, Ambassador of Colombia in Italy, Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA)
  • Giorgio Marrapodi, Director-General, Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC)

PANEL II: Innovative Solutions, Tools and Best Practices to make Coffee Sustainable

  • Daniela Fatarella, Vice Director General, Save the Children Italia
  • Domenico Nardelli, Director and Treasurer, Financial Operation Department, International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD)
  • Dejene Tezera, Director, Agri-business Development Department. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Josef Schmidhuber, Deputy-Director, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Interaction with the public and conclusions.