Frequently Asked Questions

The Global Coffee Platform

What is the Global Coffee Platform?
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The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) is the multi-stakeholder sustainable coffee platform that unites stakeholders in a non-competitive approach working towards a thriving, sustainable sector. The GCP sets into action the global agenda made through the public-private initiative, Vision 2020, to ultimately improve the livelihoods of coffee farming communities and the natural environment of coffee production areas.

What does the Global Coffee Platform do?
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The GCP improves the livelihoods of coffee farming communities and the natural environment of coffee production areas through its three core functions:

  1. The Global Platform provides an enabling environment for members to collectively define a common vision, act on national priorities, closely cooperate with governments, improve the effectiveness of sustainability programs, and contribute to greater impact at farm level.
  2. The Baseline Common Code is a set of globally referenced baseline principles and practices for coffee production and processing. It aims to create a level playing field and underpin national sustainability strategies to enable sector-wide adoption of minimum sustainability requirements.
  3. The Global Progress Framework provides the coffee sector with the means to collectively report, measure and compete on sustainability efforts to drive improvements towards the common vision.

Why was the Global Coffee Platform established?
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The sector has come a long way in organizing itself and driving sustainability forward. Coffee is the first crop where voluntary sustainability principles reached the mainstream, as over one third of its production now meets one or more standards. Moreover, public and private stakeholders initiated numerous multi-stakeholder initiatives to accelerate sustainable coffee production. With the focus on voluntary certification and verification standards and programs, the sector took an important step towards sustainability. However, they are not enough on their own to address the more overarching and deeper sustainability challenges the sector is facing. Despite all progress, the sector continues to face threats related to climate change, pests and disease outbreak, aging trees and farmers. The origins where farmer livelihoods failed to rise sufficiently see younger generations migrate away from coffee production.

The time has come for the coffee sector to continue its pioneering role and to take a more collaborative, holistic and aligned approach to sustainability, gearing the different programs and initiatives towards a unified vision.

In short: through working together as producers, trade, roasters, standards and civil society, governments and donors, united under a common vision and commitment, the sector will see greater impact in the resilience and livelihoods of coffee farming communities around the world.

Who are the members of the Global Coffee Platform?
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The 300-plus members of the Global Coffee Platform include farmers and farmer organizations (big and small), trade (importers and exporters), industry (coffee roasters and retailers), other supply chain actors, civil society (non-governmental organizations such as sustainability standards, implementers and other support organizations), individuals, and donor agencies and many other organizations.

To find out who are currently members of the GCP, please click here.

How is the Global Coffee Platform governed?
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The Global Coffee Platform is a multi-stakeholder membership organization and as such, it supports initiatives of all those coffee stakeholders who are active members through the Membership Assembly. The GCP is formally governed by a Board, representing all coffee stakeholder groups, and elected by the Membership Assembly. Additionally, the Secretariat and the different Advisory Boards and Committees provide comprehensive support structures to carry out the strategic and operational functions of the organization.

For further information on the governance of the Global Coffee Platform, please refer to the various guideline documents online. To meet the current Board, please visit the Governance Page

How will this affect you?

Vision 2020

What is Vision 2020?
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Vision 2020 is the common sector ambition of public and private actors coming together to align and coordinate their sustainability efforts and activities. 

Through a farmer-centric common agenda at national and global levels, an expansive network of governments, producers, traders, roasters, donors, standards, and research bodies aim to effectuate their collective impact against sector challenges in order to ensure the resilience and livelihoods of coffee farming communities.

What is the link between the Global Coffee Platform and Vision 2020?
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Together with the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the Global Coffee Platform acts as champions of Vision 2020, bringing it to life and turning it into collective action between the public and private stakeholders.

The Baseline Common Code

What is the Baseline Common Code?
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The Baseline Common Code reflects the principles and minimal reference practices for sustainable production and processing. Its definition results from the widest multi-stakeholder process in the coffee sector. 

What is its role in the Global Coffee Platform?
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The role of the Baseline Common Code is to become a global reference for the entire coffee sector. Where many voluntary sustainability standards are “pulling” the most sustainably produced coffee, the Baseline Common Code aims to “push” the adoption of mainstream coffee production to a minimum level of sustainable practices.  As such, it underpins national sustainability strategies and can be taken up by other actors at both national and international levels. It also can be used to measure performance within the Global Progress Framework.

The Global Coffee Platform is the custodian of the Baseline Common Code and is responsible for defining and maintaining its content and regulations periodically. The Global Coffee Platform is not however, involved in any verification, licensing or other commercial “4C” activity of the Baseline Common Code.

How can stakeholders use the Baseline Common Code?
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The Baseline Common Code can be used in a variety of ways by different stakeholders. It can:

  • Be operated as the 4C Code by an assurance provider such as Coffee Assurance Services or as a baseline equivalency by other accredited operators. For example sustainability standards like Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International or UTZ, government standards like Certifica Minas Brazil, implementers or many others.
  • Be operationalized and integrated into national strategies. For example in the practices as specified in National Sustainability Curricula.
How is compliance against the Baseline Common Code assured?
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The Global Coffee Platform has outsourced and decentralized the assurance services of the Baseline Common Code to accredited operators which have to comply with defined accreditation criteria through an independent mechanism. The operating assurance systems have embedded (as a minimum) the Baseline Common Code and provide verification, certification or other innovative, accepted and credible ways of compliance.

The Global Progress Framework

What is the Global Progress Framework?
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The Global Progress Framework is a means to systematically define common indicators and metrics, collect, analyze, report and utilize the performance of initiatives and activities towards our common vision. It will allow members of the Global Coffee Platform to:

  • Transparently monitor and report on their progress.
  • Measure their performance against others.
  • Promote their performance.
  • Assess areas to innovate and improve performance.
  • Attract new partnerships and donor funding.
  • Synchronize with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Identify gaps, strengths, and opportunities.
  • Share communication, knowledge exchange and resource use.
  • Increase effectiveness at farm-gate.
What is the Sustainable Coffee Challenge?
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The Sustainable Coffee Challenge is a call to action to make coffee the first sustainable agricultural product in the world.

Aligned under Vision 2020, the Global Coffee Platform and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge are in close cooperation to strengthen demand for sustainable produced coffee and enable more long-term commitments of coffee stakeholders by developing a common framework for sustainability performance.

To find out more about the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, please visit their website