LONDON, UK – His Excellency Mr Richard Randriamandrato, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar, paid a courtesy visit to the International Coffee Organization’s (ICO) Executive Director, Ms Vanusia Nogueira, at the ICO headquarters in London on 7 July. This visit marked an occasion to reinforce the existing cooperation between Madagascar and the ICO and lay the foundations for enhanced collaboration to further revitalize the Malagasy coffee sector.
During the visit, the Minister officially announced that the Government of Madagascar will sign the International Coffee Agreement 2022 (ICA 2022) once it opens for signature in October 2022.
Madagascar is the 23rd largest coffee producer in the world, primarily a high-quality Robusta producer, and the country’s success with other high-value crops such as vanilla has created optimism that Arabica coffee cultivation will increase in the future, promoting the specialty coffee market. The country’s strong domestic consumption also represents a huge potential for value addition and supply chain development.
The prospects for increased collaboration with the ICO, in particular potential opportunities to engage with the ICO’s Coffee Public-Private Task Force (CPPTF) in the field, represent an opportunity for Madagascar to optimize its engagement with the ICO. H.E. Mr Richard Randriamandrato stressed “I am looking forward to concretizing what we have discussed, especially regarding the ambition to have Madagascar as a future country of implementation of the CPPTF’s pilot projects”.
Through its 2020-2030 Roadmap, the CPPTF pursues new commitments towards a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive coffee sector. Most crucially, its pilot projects focus on promoting initiatives, such as targeted producer support programmes, as a means of achieving social and economic progress in coffee-producing countries while protecting natural resources.
The ICO’s Executive Director called for the rapid appointment of a national focal point to enhance the country’s representation within the ICO’s activities, including those undertaken by the CPPTF, and invited the Minister to the forthcoming 134th International Coffee Council session scheduled to take place in Bogota, Colombia, where the ICA 2022 will officially open for signature.
“I am looking forward to a strengthened and continuing cooperation between ICO and the Republic of Madagascar that will serve the best interests of the two sides, transforming the sector’s challenges into tremendous opportunities”, said Ms Nogueira.
The meeting was a significant milestone for the future of Madagascar’s membership in the ICO and an important step forward for Malagasy coffee’s future positioning in the international market.
The Minister was accompanied by Mr Tojonirina Ramarolahy, Chargé d’Affaires (ai) of the Embassy of Madagascar to the United Kingdom and Mrs Olivia Rakotonirina, Counsellor at the Embassy of Madagascar.
The Executive Director was accompanied by the Head of Finance and Administration, the Chief Economist, the Statistics Coordinator and the Statistics Consultant.