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Sustainable Coffee Challenge forms partnership with Ico and Uganda

ARLINGTON, Va., U.S. — Today, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge announced new collaborations with the International Coffee Organization and the Government of Uganda to work together to establish coffee as the first sustainably-grown agricultural product.

These announcements were made during the 121st session of the International Coffee Organization’s Coffee Council in Mexico City, Mexico.

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“These new partnerships show a willingness of governments to work collaboratively to ensure our ability to meet the growing demand for coffee in a way that supports economic development among producers and conserves the unique tropical ecosystems in which coffee grows,” said Bambi Semroc, Vice President of Sustainable Markets and Strategy at Conservation International.

The partnership with the International Coffee Organization aims to facilitate collaboration between sustainability leaders from industry and governments. The International Coffee Organization and the Challenge will jointly improve the collection, exchange, integration and dissemination of key data on coffee sustainability.

This will help actors across the sector to better understand the need for renovation and rehabilitation of coffee as well as to map spatial distribution of coffee production and forest cover in coffee-producing countries.

“As part of the International Coffee Organization’s overarching mission of promoting a sustainable world coffee sector, we will contribute to expanding and enhancing the coordination of public-private collaboration in the coffee sector towards a sustainable and healthy coffee community, while at the same time contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said José Sette, Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization.

The International Coffee Organization will also support the adoption of the Sustainability Framework. This guidance tool for the sector, developed by the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, together with the Global Coffee Platform, and provides a common, accessible language for sustainability across the coffee sector. Governments will be encouraged to use the vehicles of the Challenge to showcase and track their respective efforts that promote sustainable coffee production towards the Sustainable Development Goals, such as the commitments from Mexico and Rwanda.

“As clear a testimony to the important role governments play in driving sustainable coffee production, we are very pleased welcome Uganda as a new partner in the Challenge,” said Semroc.

Uganda’s participation in the Challenge builds on the country’s ‘Coffee Roadmap’, which sets out the ambitious target to increase annual production from 3 million to 20 million bags of coffee per year by 2025. Uganda becomes the fourth country to join the Sustainable Coffee Challenge.

“Coffee production is integral to the Ugandan economy as it contributes to 20 to 30 percent of our exports,” said Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority. “We are excited about this new partnership with the Challenge, which will allow us to realize the targets in the ‘Coffee Roadmap’ by tapping into ways we can renovate and rehabilitate our coffee production sustainably for our smallholder farmers who are the majority of our coffee growers.”

The Sustainable Coffee Challenge, formed by Conservation International and Starbucks and launched during the Paris climate meetings in 2015, is uniting players from across the coffee industry – growers, traders, roasters, retailers, governments and nongovernmental organizations. It aims to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee while partnering to find solutions to mitigate impacts of climate change and other stressors.

To join as a partner in the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, contact the team at scc@conservation.org.

About the Sustainable Coffee Challenge

The Sustainable Coffee Challenge convenes, unites and urges the coffee sector and conservation partners across the industry to spur the actions and investments necessary to make coffee the first sustainable agriculture product in the world. The Challenge is committed to stimulating demand for sustainable coffee across the value chain, from the policymaking level to the final consumer. By encouraging demand for sustainable coffee, it leads to investments that enable the transition to a sustainable production and ensuring the coffee we drink is a sustainable product.

About Conservation International

Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International, the groundbreaking  “Nature Is Speaking” campaign and its series of virtual reality projects including “Valen’s Reef” and “Under the Canopy.” Follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About the International Coffee Organization

The International Coffee Organization is the main intergovernmental organization for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing Governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international cooperation.

Our Members represent the Governments of 98 percent of world coffee production and over 83 percent of world consumption. We endeavor to make a positive and practical contribution to the development of a sustainable world coffee sector and to reducing poverty through the following three Strategic Objectives:

• Delivering world-class data, analysis and information to the industry and policy-makers.
• Providing a forum for dialogue between and within the public and private sectors.
• Facilitating the development of projects and promotion programs through public-private partnerships.

More information is available at: www.ico.org.

About the Uganda Coffee Development Authority

Uganda Coffee Development Authority was established by an Act of Parliament 1991 and amended in 1994, Cap. 325 under the laws of the Republic of Uganda. Uganda Coffee Development Authority is established as a public authority and its mandate is to promote and oversee the coffee industry by supporting research, promoting production, controlling the quality and improving the marketing of coffee in order to optimize foreign exchange earnings for the country and payments to the farmers.