In networks: Together for better framework conditions
Tchibo joins other relevant protagonists from the industry, politics, business, associations, trade unions and the social environment in multi-stakeholder initiatives to promote better conditions in the coffee-growing countries.
Our aim and approach in alliances is to improve the structural and financial framework for farmers in the origins (economic perspective), and to support the local communities, especially women and children, in matters of education and additional opportunities for income (social perspective). In addition, we are committed to preserving the ecological basis for the cultivation of coffee (ecological perspective).
Global Coffee Platform
In March 2016, the 4C Association merged with the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) to form the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), in a bid to combine the strengths of the two organisations and jointly achieve a greater impact in making the coffee sector sustainable. Many protagonists of the coffee industry are involved in the GCP. The platform coordinates its members’ activities and works on creating transparency about the numerous initiatives in the coffee sector. The GCP serves as a moderator in the public-private dialogue and motivates its members to work for a more sustainable coffee sector. To facilitate public-private dialogue, the GCP signed a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration with the International Coffee Organisation (ICO), in which the governments of most producing and consumer countries are represented, and developed a joint presentation in its ‘Vision 2030’.
Tchibo was involved in the establishment of the GCP and sat on its steering committee until October 2017. Due to the rotation principle on the board, the composition of the steering committee has now changed. Tchibo continues to play a very active role in the GCP as a member and was instrumental, for example, in making the Letter of Intent (LoI), which was signed with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the beginning of 2017, happen. With this Letter of Intent, the GCP managed to put coffee back on the agenda of German Development Cooperation. As part of the action plan agreed in the LoI, the BMZ pledged financial support for the emerging Kenyan public-private coffee platform Sauti Ya Kahawa - The Voice of Coffee via the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), through the beginning of 2019.
Meanwhile, further innovative and practical tools were developed for GCP members in 2017, such as various webinars, newsletters, workshops and the collaborative exchange platform GCP Connect. The GCP is also working to develop common indicators for members, which can be used to measure whether and how the sector is developing sustainably.
As an open and inclusive organisation, the GCP will pursue the goal that its members work in a more focused manner and in voluntary alliances towards a sustainable development of the coffee sector. From 2018, members will be able to choose more specifically which countries and which topics (Economic Viability, Gender & Youth, Climate Smart Agriculture) they want to become involved with – ideally in new forms of public-private cooperation on complex, systemic topics – to strengthen the sector.
„Vision 2020/2030“: 30 GCP members from the private sector, including well-known roasters, exporters, and coffee traders, have signed up to the common agenda of the Vision 2030 Call for Collective Action, and thus committed themselves to its implementation.
The vision forms the basis of the new alliance and the shared understanding with the ICO. Only if all stakeholders pursue a shared vision can a greater impact be achieved in improving the living conditions of coffee farmers. The vision describes the measures that are necessary to create a sustainable coffee sector:
- Organise smallholders into cooperatives
- Improve productivity and income
- Avoid and prevent impermissible child labour
- Equal treatment of women and men, girls and boys
- Rehabilitate ecosystems
- Adapt to climate change, reduce contribution to climate change
- Access to funding, improve business knowledge
- Promote the producing countries’ sustainability agendas
National platforms: In addition to the organisation’s global structure, the establishment of national platforms with national participants was also supported. They can much better assess what is needed in a given country to promote the sustainable development of the coffee sector, bring together private- and public-sector stakeholders, and initiate regional solutions. National Sustainability Curricula are developed on the national platforms, which identify the country-specific conditions for improving sustainability.
Collective Action Networks (CAN): The thematic fields of Vision 2030 are grouped into ‘CANs’, as they involve global problems that require comprehensive solutions. The three CANs deal with climate change, the economic viability of coffee cultivation, and the involvement of women farmers and youths.
Tools for support:
- A global framework for performance measurement that allows the sector to continually evaluate, improve and publish the development and achievements of sustainability measures (work in progress)
- An online learning platform
- The Baseline Common Code as a sector-wide reference.
Based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the members of the GCP have defined the priorities they want to work on in the years ahead:
International Coffee Partners
In 2001, Tchibo teamed up with four other leading private coffee companies (Löfbergs, Lavazza, Paulig and the Neumann Kaffee Group) to launch the International Coffee Partners (ICP) initiative. In 2010, the Norwegian company Joh. Johannson joined, and in 2014 the Croatian coffee trader Franck.
International Coffee Partners implements long-term model projects to strengthen the effectiveness of smallholders and their families, worldwide. The focus is on increasing the farmers’ competitiveness based on sustainable farming methods, and promoting the organisation of smallholders into cooperatives – with the goal of empowering them to improve their living conditions.
International Coffee Partners cooperates with a wide range of partners from the public and private sectors.
In over 15 years, International Coffee Partners has completed 18 projects in 12 countries, into which more than 13.3 million euros in private and public funding were invested. This partnership has so far reached more than 63,000 smallholder households.
Initiative for Coffee & Climate
Tchibo is a co-founder of the coffee&climate initiative, which since 2010 has been addressing the issue of ‘Effects of climate change on coffee cultivation’, because climate change poses a threat to coffee production and hence to the farmers' livelihoods. To help farmers adapt coffee cultivation to the effects of climate change, coffee&climate has developed climate-friendly farming practices together with renowned scientists. Coordinated by the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation, local partners are trained to teach these practices to local farmers.
By autumn 2017, the initiative had reached around 30,445 households in Brazil, Trifinio, Vietnam and Tanzania whose livelihood depends on coffee cultivation. In 2017 coffee&climate also introduced a new Toolbox containing guidelines, manuals and 25 practical methods for adaptation and environmental protection, which were tested and validated with farmers on test plots.
To encourage the implementation of these practices and foster interaction and exchange at the local level, coffee&climate has initiated a Community of Practice (CoP) in Brazil. Local protagonists organise meetings at which participants share their knowledge about climate-friendly strategies and instruments in coffee farming. They also learn about coffee&climate's approach and help promote climate-friendly practices. Training courses and workshops are also part of the work on the ground.
Biodiversity in Good Company
Tchibo promotes the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of ecosystems in coffee growing. That is why, in 2012, we became a member of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment’s 'Biodiversity in Good Company' initiative. The initiative brings together pioneering companies from different sectors to jointly develop solutions for preserving biodiversity worldwide. It also aims to raise public awareness of the issue of biodiversity.
When we joined, we signed a 'Leadership Declaration'. It commits us to integrating the preservation of biodiversity into our company’s environmental and sustainability management, and to pursuing appropriate goals and measures. In 2016, we published our third progress report on the Leadership Declaration. We will publish the next progress report in the third quarter of 2018.