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New agreement between Fairtrade International and the 4C Association set to benefit coffee farmers

BONN, Germany – The 4C Association and Fairtrade International have announced a benchmarking agreement that will directly benefit coffee farmers and advance sustainability in the coffee sector.

The benchmarking scheme, led by the two standards with support from FLOCERT and Tchibo GmbH, aligns their respective verification and certification criteria for the sustainable production and processing practices of coffee.

Fairtrade certified Small Producer Organizations shall now be entitled to apply for a 4C License under a shorter and simplified process, which will result in considerably reduced verification time and costs and increased market access for smallholder coffee farmers.

The Executive Director of Fairtrade International, Harriet Lamb, states that “We are pleased that this new collaboration should make it quicker, cheaper and easier for Fairtrade coffee producers who choose to add 4C verification.

Fairtrade International is committed to finding such ways for producer organizations to benefit from new market opportunities arising from the increased demand for certified products. This is a good example of standards coming together and collaborating to put the needs of farmers first”.

In order to make it straight-forward for all stakeholders involved, the 4C-Fairtrade benchmarking scheme has created an easy to use Application Procedure accompanied by an Add-on Tool.

To begin benefitting from the benchmarking scheme, Fairtrade certified SPOs simply register as a 4C Member, create a 4C Unit and then be checked against the Add-on Tool.

The Executive Director of the 4C Association, Melanie Rutten-Sülz, comments “as an Entry-level Standard, we’re committed to supporting farmers in their efforts towards sustainability.

By providing Fairtrade certified coffee producers with access to 4C market opportunities, we are one step closer towards a better coffee world”.

To complement this new benchmarking scheme, FLOCERT – the certification body for Fairtrade International – has become an approved 4C verifier in Central America and Colombia.

The training of FLOCERT’s auditors has already taken place and they are ready to begin carrying out the verifications with the Add-on Tool. For more information on how the benchmarking agreement works please contact the respective media contacts listed below. The final report is due in late 2015.

To stay up-to-date on this process and other sustainable coffee issues, please follow the 4C Association and Fairtrade International on Twitter.

In the picture (from left to right): Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association, Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of Fairtrade International, and Rüdiger Meyer, CEO of FLOCERT, in a meeting to mark the launch of the benchmarking agreement. (Source: 4C Association)