Food Lab Supports an Ambitious 10-Year Plan to Transform Coffee

Building on many years of work on sustainability in the coffee sector, a recent commitment from the International Coffee Council (ICC) and its secretariat the International Coffee Organization (ICO) has brought private and public stakeholders together to transform the livelihoods and landscape of coffee. The Food Lab is helping support efforts with a focus on Living-Prosperous Income.

The International Coffee Council (ICC), the leading intergovernmental organization for coffee, adopted Resolution 465 in September 2018 to tackle all time low coffee prices. Since 2018, ICC Secretariat, the International Coffee Organization (ICO), has hosted sector dialogue on coffee price levels with private and public stakeholders. These conversations led to the signing of the London Declaration and in October 2020, the International Coffee Organization announced a vision and road map setting out new commitments towards achieving a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive coffee sector. The ICO established the Coffee Public-Private Task Force (comprised of coffee producing and consuming countries, the industry and observers), and launched 5 Technical Workstreams to meet the vision of the ICO’s new commitments. This Taskforce builds on both the ICO intergovernmental structure as well as the established networks of the World Coffee Producers Forum, Global Coffee Platform and the Sustainable Coffee Challenge.

As a co-facilitator of the Living Income Community of Practice, the Sustainable Food Lab has been facilitating the Living-Prosperous Income Technical Workstream since December of 2020. Referred to as TWS 1 or TWS LPI, the group is a dynamic mix of leaders from 13 coffee exporting and importing countries, 12 industry organizations and 11 expert NGOs, all working toward a shared vision of a prosperous, sustainable and inclusive coffee sector (the time bound aspirations of TWS LPI are shown below).

Thus far the members of the LPI TWS has shared approaches and methodologies to measuring and closing  income gaps among smallholder farmers. Presentations have included the Colombian Coffee federation’s approach to prosperity pricing, Hanns R Nuemann Stiftung’s income analysis in their Ethiopia program, Rainforest Alliance’s approach to simplified living income measurement and Fairtrade International’s stakeholder process to develop a living income reference price in Colombia, a process being replicated in Indonesia and Peru this year.  We have identified countries of interest for Income Benchmarking, with Mexico, Peru and Indonesia started benchmark research in 2021. We are currently mapping of current and planned activities related to Living-Prosperous Income to better identify the gaps and strategic interventions ahead.

This collaboration between governments, private sector and civil society is powerful and much needed to bring change at scale, and we look forward to continuing to support this working group in designing the actions to reach the ambitious 10-year goals.

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