LONDON, UK – On 8 September the 3rd CEO & Global Leaders Forum (CGLF) was held as a closed session. The Forum is part of the ICO-led structured sector-wide dialogue and brings together top executives of the coffee value chain, producers, traders, roasters, retailers, and engage high-profile policy leaders, together with development partners and civil society.
Together these stakeholders considered the outcomes of the work of the Coffee Public Private Task Force (CPPTF) and identified additional measurable commitments for the sustainable future of coffee growers and of the whole coffee sector in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Addressing specifically the volatility of coffee prices and its relationship with extreme weather events, the CEO & Global Leaders Forum was inspired by a keynote speech delivered by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, with interventions by Brazil, the National Federation of Coffee-growers of Colombia, Starbucks, and Volcafe, and by an intense dialogue on how to collectively find permanent solution to price volatility and assure the sustainable future of coffee.
Professor Sachs expressed the need for urgent action “sustainable development does not come out of market forces; rather, it will arise from partnerships between governments, communities, and companies in a much more complex way than today”.
The coffee sector needs to focus on joint shared goods in the form of the SDGs and companies working together in a pre-competitive manner, but also collaborating with different international development institutions since these partnerships are about co-creating institutions.
The CGLF reiterated all members’ commitment and resources to work with the ICO to solve the structural weaknesses of the coffee sector and to ensure its sustainable growth and prosperity for all. Key commitments going forward include:
- to strengthen collaboration across the coffee sector even further;
- to concentrate on the areas of focus of the Task Force (farmers’ living and prosperous income, market transparency, market financing, building resilient sustainable coffee systems, and gender, diversity, and inclusion) to be able to effectively deliver on key outcomes;
- to strengthen the public intervention space ensuring a level playing field, to transform the coffee sector;
- to look beyond specific supply chains but into a jurisdictional/landscape approach to address the challenges of farmers; and
- to further strengthen the ICO Coffee Public Private Task Force as a key joint space for dialogue and action for the coffee sector engaging governments, private sector, civil society and development and financial partners
The CGLF plans to meet again in early September 2022, alongside the World Coffee Conference to be held in Bangalore, India and entrusts the CPPTF to continue the work to operationalize the agreed Roadmap.