4C Global Sustainability Conference recap

One hundred people registered for the first 4C Global Sustainability Conference, which took place in Berlin last week. At the 4C Services-hosted conference, coffee producers, brand owners, traders, associations, government authorities, non-government organisations, and research bodies shared their perspectives on practical solutions for sustainable coffee supply chains. The first session was initiated by Niels Haak from Conservation International, who pointed out the environmental challenges coffee farmers are facing, which are amplified by climate change This includes the risk of expansion into forested areas due to loss of suitable land for coffee production. In this context, he announced his approval of 4C Services becoming a partner in the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. Read more:
• 4C Services to join Sustainable Coffee Challenge
• Retailers show growing demand for sustainable products
• Global Coffee Platform’s collective mission Haak was followed by Dr Rafaël Schneider from Welthungerhilfe and Annette Pensel from Global Coffee Platform. The two provided further insights on environmental and social challenges, the issue of food insecurity for smallholders, and collaborative actions to address these challenges via certification. The second session addressed trade- and end-consumer market requirements, with industry speakers inlduing Stefan Canz from Nestlé, Sina Stemmler from Mercon, Jan-Michael Wernicke from China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation International, and Rodrigo Costa from Comexim talking about the implementation of their sustainability strategies. Dr Norbert Schmitz from 4C Services concluded this session by announcing the new strategies and approaches of the 4C System to mitigate sustainability risks and to implement efficient and effective audits in coffee supply chains. The third session covered the impact of certification, where coffee producers from Brasil and Colombia as well as the Coffee Development Authority of Uganda shared their perceptions of the impact of 4C certification on the ground. They all pointed out the positive effects 4C has on labour rights and biodiversity protection, leading to improved working conditions and the rehabilitation of wildlife. Nevertheless, 4C Services sats to further increase impact on the ground, demand for sustainably produced coffee needs to rise. This was complemented by Prof Gernot Klepper from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy through a scientific assessment of measures to achieve transformation into sustainable markets. Holger Preibisch from the German Coffee Association concluded this session with insights about the German consumer behaviour and buying decisions. In the last session, Greg Meenahan from the World Coffee Research gave insights into coffee genetics and why this matters for sustainability, followed by speakers Keith Castelino from 4C Services and Pia Rothe from Global Risk Assessment Services on tools and technologies to facilitate smallholder integration into certification, ease the tracking of sustainably produced coffee, and verify that coffee supply chains are deforestation-free. To go beyond the sole production process of coffee, Dr Jan Henke from Meo Carbon Solutions concluded the session with solutions for sustainable coffee packaging by the use of certified circular or bio-based materials. Presentations from the conference can be viewed here. Global Coffee Report has launched a LinkedIn Showcase page. Follow HERE for up-to-date news and analysis of the global coffee industry.

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