Dialogue on corporate due diligence in the coffee sector

25 July 2023. On 20 July, AL-INVEST Verde organised the round table discussion "Coffee and the European Corporate Due Diligence Directive".The meeting was attended by representatives of the European Commission, coffee producing countries such as Brazil and Colombia, and international organisations working in the field.

Organised by Component 2 of the programme, the event was held virtually and was the third of three round tables in the programme. cycle "Dialogue and exchange of experiences on sustainability in the coffee value chain".. The first round table took place on 18 April, on ".Support programmes and instruments for sustainability in the coffee value chain"while the second was held on 6 June, focusing on ".Coffee and the EU's regulation on deforestation-free chains", added.

During this third meeting, the European Directive on corporate due diligence was analysed and the following issues were shared good practices in Latin America in the area of corporate responsibility in the coffee production process, as well as international projects promoting responsible business conduct.

The roundtable was opened by John Bazill, International Policy Officer of the Latin America Unit of the European Commission, who presented the context of the coffee trade between Latin America and the European UnionThe EU has also been involved in the coffee value chain, highlighting the importance of trade as a tool for developing a sustainable coffee value chain.

Daan Van Thiel, responsible for employment policies in value chains in the Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) of the European Commission, then presented the European Directive on corporate due diligence and its impact in Latin America.

A space was reserved for sharing projects related to the implementation of due diligence in the area of human rights and the environment in the coffee value chain. In particular, a joint presentation of the pilot project on the labour and environmental dimension in the coffee value chain was made with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair-Trade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC), International Coffee Organisation (ICO), International Trade Centre (ITC) and DG INTPA of the European Union. Speakers included Martina Bozzola, senior sustainability expert; Matias Urrutigoity, senior trade officer at the International Trade Centre (ITC); and Aida Portillo from CLAC.

The dialogue continued with a presentation on responsible business conduct (CER), by Olga Orozco (International Labour Organisation, ILO), Verónica Zubia (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR) and Germán Zarama (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD).

In addition, the experiences of Brazil and Colombia were shared with the participation of Marcos Antonio Matos, Director General of the Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council (CECAFÉ) of Brazil, and Ligia Helena Borrero, Legal Director of the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) of Colombia. Closing remarks were made by Vanúsia Nogueira, Executive Director of the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).

About AL-INVEST Verde

AL-INVEST Verde is a programme funded by the European Union (EU). Its main objective is to promote sustainable growth and job creation in Latin America by supporting the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and more circular economy. Through Component 2, led by FIIAPP in consortium with IILAThe programme provides assistance for strengthening public policy and multi-stakeholder dialogues on sustainable agricultural and value chains, environmental and labour standards, as well as sustainable trade and economic policy and regulatory frameworks.