New platform encourages collaboration on sustainable coffee in Central America

The Global Coffee Platform, UTZ, and Solidaridad signed a Memorandum of Understanding this year. The aim is to expand the already existing cooperation between the three organizations by working together to support, strengthen and facilitate sector engagement/dialogue based on non-competitive collaboration. This fosters mutual benefit in producing countries and positive impact on the ground that contributes to more sustainable coffee sectors.

This cooperation aims to facilitate partner organizations involved in the initiative to exchange views, expertise and know-how while building the capacity of the sector to implement joint sustainability projects in a coordinated way. The main aspects of this cooperation will be detailed in strategic country plans.

The focus of this cooperation is to strengthen sector collaboration on the ground through setting up so-called national coffee platforms. The cooperation is focused but not limited to the following countries: Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Key themes will be identified at national levels by involving a range of stakeholders including smallholder farmers, sector associations, private sector actors and government. These engagements are intended to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals and Vision 2030. So far, the identified areas of interests are Climate Change, Gender & Youth, Access to Finance, Productivity, and Living Wage.

Setting up a solid structure

Annette Pensel, executive director of the GCP said, "This collaboration among three key organizations is a great step in strengthening non-competitive collaboration, which benefits the whole coffee sector. We look forward to working together to building a more sustainable coffee world.”

Starting in 2017, this regional collaboration will create formal mechanisms for the management, monitoring and evaluation of the agreed initiatives and will promote collaboration and dialogue among the signatory organizations. The structure helps to guarantee that its members, partners and the coffee sector engage in concrete and transparent discussions and collaboration.

Andrea Olivar, an international programme coordinator at Solidaridad, said, “We are thrilled to work with the Global Coffee Platform and Utz in this ambitious partnership. We hope we can contribute our proven experience facilitating national platforms to transform the coffee sector in Central America and Mexico”.

Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals

The new initiative feeds into preparations to embark on a joint vision starting in 2018, by identifying the key sustainability priorities for the coffee producing countries involved and aligning proposals to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The key themes of cooperation align with the following SDGs:

SDG   2 – Zero hunger

SDG   4 – Quality education

SDG   5 – Gender

SDG   8 – Decent work and economic growth

SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production

SDG 13 – Climate action

This regional understanding will help the sector achieve joint objectives effectively through collaboration, cooperation and coordination. All coffee sector stakeholders are invited and encouraged to participate and actively collaborate in our initiative.

Learn more about Solidaridad programmes for sustainable coffee.