4C Association announces agreement with largest coffee producing state in Brazil

The 4C Association announced on 25 September an agreement with the government of Minas Gerais to help its state su undefined

stainability standard gain international recognition.

The cooperation will “support the consolidation and international recognition of the Minas Gerais State standard for sustainability in coffee production, the Certified Minas Coffee (CMC)”, the 4C Association said in a statement. It noted that the cooperating partners are also setting out to increase the supply of certified sustainable coffees in order to meet increasing demand. Minas Gerais is the largest coffee producing state in Brazil. 

The CMC, which consists of a set of best practices and procedures related to coffee production, was launched in 2006 by the state government. It is now run by MG EMATER and the Institute of Agriculture of Minas Gerais under the coordination of the Secretariat for Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of MG-SEAPA. The implementation of this standard provides farmers with practical orientation to produce efficiently while respecting social and environmental laws.

The agreement was concluded against the backdrop of International Coffee Organization (ICO) meetings and celebrations for its 50th anniversary. The meeting took place during International Coffee Week in Belo Horizonte from 9 – 13 September. Details of the cooperation were announced on 10 September by Elmiro Nascimento, State Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Minas Gerais, and Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association.

This latest agreement will include a technical comparison (benchmarking) between the CMC standard and the 4C Code of Conduct. The 4C Association said that the objective of the benchmarking is to document the equivalences and differences between both systems. Depending on the results, other activities will be developed in order to facilitate obtaining the 4C Licence by those farmers who have the CMC certificate. The results of this project and possible next steps are set to be announced early 2014.

As a result of this benchmarking, the 4C Association expects that CMC certified farmers will have another gateway to the international sustainability market without having to undergo a full additional 4C audit. 

“We are looking forward to the unfolding of this cooperation between the Department of Agriculture and the 4C Association, believing that the results will benefit the coffee farmers from Minas Gerais. The benefits will be seen, at first, for those who possess our certification and wish to also obtain the 4C license. But, in general, the coffee of Minas Gerais gains more visibility and this helps strengthening the demand for the great coffee that we produce here,” said Elmiro Nascimento in a statement.

“For the 4C Association, the cooperation with CMC represents one step further on the path towards increasing global collaboration between voluntary coffee sustainability schemes,” stated Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association. “We believe that only by working together with other initiatives and avoiding duplication of efforts, we can increase benefits for farmers. We hope this project will inspire many others in Brazil and around the world.” 

This project is being supported and funded by the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative as public partner, as well as Mondelēz International and Tchibo as private partners within the framework of the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP). The Sustainable Coffee Program in Brazil, an IDH initiative, is responsible for the management of the project. Consultants and auditors will be hired to conduct the technical work.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend