Leading partners in coffee trade and industry form IDH Coffee Program

Leading partners in coffee trade and industry form IDH Coffee Program

August 3, 2011 – The IDH Coffee Program is a public-private cooperation involving the coffee industry, trade and export partners, governments, NGO’s and standard setting organizations. The 4 founding industry participants are Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Sara Lee and Tchibo, representing an annual coffee purchases of 36 million bags or 30% of global production. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is involved as a development partner. Additional participation is channeled through the Royal Dutch Coffee and Tea Association (KNVKT), the European Coffee Federation (ECF) and the Tropical Commodity Coalition (TCC). Other partners are currently being engaged.

Global coffee consumption continues to grow at a steady pace, particularly in emerging markets. At the same time production has suffered from under-investment, poor production practices and adverse climatic conditions. As a result production has remained below demand. In recent years major coffee roasters have made serious commitments to increase their purchasing of sustainable coffee. The Dutch coffee sector has collectively expressed the intent to increase the share of sustainably produced coffee to three quarters by 2015.


Tijmen de Vries (KNVKT): ‘Taking into account the market situation in the coffee sector, it will be increasingly difficult to meet the growing demand for sustainably grown coffee. The need to address the sustainability issues in the coffee sector on a much larger scale and in a pre-competitive way is evident.’


The objective of the IDH coffee program is to further increase sustainable coffee production in a pre-competitive manner and make coffee farmers more resilient in an ever-changing market. An important focus of the program is to increase production, yields and export availability of sustainably grown coffee. Collectively the partners aim to increase sustainable green coffee sales from the current 8%. The ambition is to reach 25% in 2015. This means that approximately 4,3 million farming families will be reached. The program recognises the need to move beyond the use of standards and labels. Instead it will create the overarching, holistic strategy needed to transform the coffee sector.


Ted van der Put, program director of IDH: ‘We are excited to develop this program together with committed coffee industry, trade and export partners, governments, NGO’s, trade unions and standard setting organizations, to move the coffee sector towards mainstream sustainable production practices. Around the core of scaling up sustainable production, we will be working on the effective implementation of standards, improving access to finance for farmers, and mitigating the effects of climate change.’

In the coming weeks and months the project partners plan to develop a fully-fledged program proposal. NewForesight consultancy is contracted to help facilitate this process. The program design phase ends December 2011. The implementation program itself runs from 2012 to 2016.

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