Amid the backdrop of sustained low coffee prices, Members of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), welcomed the efforts of the ICO and all the private sector companies and organizations that have signed the London Declaration and decided to set up a taskforce together with the private sector to draw up a roadmap and explore further actions on price levels and volatility as well as long-term sustainability.
Bringing together more than 40 countries in London from 23-27 September 2019, the International Coffee Council, chaired by Ms Stefanie Küng, Switzerland, considered the London Declaration, which was signed by leading roasters, traders and retailers and supported by key sector and development organizations and NGOs following the first CEO and Global Leaders Forum held in London on 23 September 2019.
The Declaration sets out commitments by private sector enterprises to work with governments, development partners and civil society and each other, with the objective of implementing practical and time-bound actions to address the current coffee crisis that concerns the world’s coffee farming community, in a spirit of shared responsibility, thereby contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.
In pursuance of the Sustainable Development Goals, Members of the International Coffee Council confirmed their commitment to work together with the signatories of the London Declaration and other stakeholders to jointly define detailed and concrete actions. Council also requested the ICO to set up a taskforce with ICO Members as well as representatives of the private sector and supporting organizations to draw up a roadmap and recommend further actions on price levels and volatility as well as long-term sustainability, with the outcome of the taskforce to be considered at the 2nd CEO and Global Leaders Forum during the fifth World Coffee Conference in Bengaluru, India in September 2020.
ICO Executive Director, Mr José Sette, said: “The Declaration is the result of a complex consensus-building exercise to implement Resolution 465 and successfully carry out a Structured Sector-wide Dialogue, mobilizing coffee stakeholders in the coffee value chain and the international roasting industry. Using the convening power of the ICO, we will continue our efforts to mobilize stronger political support and resources from multilateral mechanisms, international organizations and the private sector in order to address the short- and long-term sustainability of the coffee sector.”
In other business during the week-long session, the Council held the 9th Consultative Forum on Coffee Sector Finance, which gathered experts to explore the potential of innovative price risk management solutions for smallholder farmers and the identification of structural, technological and institutional barriers to their widespread adoption.
Paul Anliker, Minister of Agriculture of El Salvador, Dr Le Quoc Doanh, Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam, and Mr Deepak Khanal, of the National Tea and Coffee Development Board of Nepal made statements on national policy developments. Presentations were also made on cooperation activities between the ICO and the Global Coffee Platform, the African Fine Coffees Association, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge and the International Women’s Coffee Alliance.
In addition, ICO Members also conducted important discussions on the future of the International Coffee Agreement, the current version of which is set to expire in 2021. The ICO also introduced its first Flagship Report: the 2019 Coffee Development Report, which contains an in-depth and independent assessment of key trends in the coffee sector, the links between low prices and development issues and fifty possible actions to address the economic challenges faced by the world coffee sector and to foster its long-term sustainability. The full Report will be released on October 1st – International Coffee Day.