The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) has recognised five sustainability schemes as equivalent to the GCP Coffee Sustainability Reference Code (Coffee SR Code), second party assurance.
The schemes that have been recognised include Louis Dreyfus Company’s Responsible Sourcing Program Advanced, Mercon’s LIFT, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe’s NKG Verified, Volcafe’s Volcafe Verified, and Volcafe Excellence. According to GCP, this represents critical sector alignment necessary for coffee sustainability.
Since GCP released its Equivalence Mechanism 2.0 in November last year – a process which saw the tool being strengthened with stricter sustainability and operational criteria – schemes have been aligning systems to become equivalent to the Coffee SR Code. This code is a sector-wide reference on the foundations of sustainability in economic, social and environmental dimensions for green coffee production and primary processing worldwide.
“GCP applauds the swift action by these GCP Member companies to step up and align through the Coffee SR Code and GCP Equivalence Mechanism. This commitment to the use of a common language and the increasing openness to transparency is a critical feature to understand, advance and accelerate coffee sustainability,” says Annette Pensel, GCP Executive Director.
As part of the equivalence process, GCP requires that sustainability schemes share publicly not only the scope, objectives and strategies of schemes, but also sustainability criteria and a general overview of assurance structure and activities. While certification schemes have long made this information public, this is a first for private-led schemes.
For the assessment of the sustainability schemes, GCP partnered with the International Trade Centre, which assessed the schemes against the principles and practices of the Coffee SR Code and the Operational Criteria of the Equivalence Mechanism 2.0.
Applications are now open for additional schemes interested in being assessed. All schemes that have been recognised to date, will need to submit schemes for reassessment under the Equivalence Mechanism 2.0 and go through the GCP Equivalence Process by October 2023.
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