Sharing experiences on sustainability in the coffee value chain

18 April 2023. The AL-INVEST Verde programme, as a part of the Component 2 AL-INVEST Verde organised the round table "Support programmes and instruments for sustainability in the coffee value chain", in which representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, among others, main coffee producing countries, took part.

The meeting, which was organised virtually, discussed public initiatives for social and environmental sustainability The main challenges of the coffee value chain, as well as the progress and challenges regarding the instruments that favour transparency in this area, have been discussed.

The round table was opened by Zoltan Agai, European Union (EU) representative at the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) and member of the Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries area of the European Commission; Ingrid Jenezova, Principal Administrator and Programme manager of AL-INVEST Verde at the European Commission; and Vanúsia Nogueira, Executive Director of the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).

Rogério Fernandes, director of the Certifica Minas Programme of the Instituto Mineiro de Agropecuária de Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Maria del Pilar Alarcón, coordinator of the Department of the Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Commission (PROMPERÚ), then took the floor.

On behalf of Colombia, Asmed Orozco, national technical secretary of the coffee chain of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Raúl Jaime Hernandez, director of Environment at the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) participated. Representing Ecuador were Juan Merino, coordinator of the transition to sustainable production component of PROAmazon, and Daysy Cardenas, Climate Change Mitigation Specialist of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition.

The round table was moderated by Andrea Carlo Monaco, Senior Programme Manager of Component 2 of AL-INVEST Verde, while the closing session was led by Emilio Calvo, Director of Component 2.

Increased coffee production

The increased demand for coffee worldwide poses challenges in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability. In the case of Latin America, South America alone accounts for 50 % of the world's coffee production, particularly Brazil and Colombia, which rank first and third in terms of production, respectively.

Increased coffee production requires an efficient use of natural resources to reduce environmental impact and foster social cohesion, so as to avoid practices such as labour exploitation or child labour, among others.

These issues will be analysed in a series of three round tables initiated with this meeting. The second roundtable will focus on the EU regulation on deforestation-free chains, specifically on the coffee chain, while the third roundtable will analyse the environmental and labour dimensions of the coffee chain and the Corporate Due Diligence Directive. Both will take place in June and July, respectively.

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. 

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