Purchases of 4C Compliant Coffee more than double in one year

Purchases of 4C Compliant Coffee in coffee year 2010/11more than double the same period last year, the organisation announced on 16 November. Purchases reached 810,291 bags, around 48,000 tonnes. Since 4C Compliant Coffee was first traded four years ago, purchases have been growing steadily and 4C Membership has increased from 37 to a current 160 members. The organisation noted that this growth is driven by an increasing number of 4C Members who are including 4C Compliant Coffee into their purchasing plans. For instance, 4C Member Nestlé S.A. announced in August 2010 the launch of the Nescafé Plan, an ambitious sustainability program in partnership with the 4C Association and the Rainforest Alliance. “Since the Nescafé Plan launch, Nescafé/Nestlé together with its partners has helped consolidate the 4C Association,” says Nicolas Huillet, the plan's Project Leader. “Nestlé is also committed to helping improve the association’s capacity to deliver on the very ambitious commitments we have made to significantly increase our 4C Compliant Coffee volumes.”
For its part, 4C Member Kraft Foods announced in May 2011 that it will move towards 100 per cent sustainable sourced beans for all its European brands by 2015. To achieve this goal, Kraft Foods said it would considerably increase its sourcing of 4C Compliant Coffee and also certified coffee from other recognized sustainability standards. 
“Kraft Foods is committed to ensuring the future availability of quality coffee beans,” says Hubert Weber, President Coffee, Kraft Foods Europe. “The 4C baseline standard plays an essential role in achieving this objective. Kraft Foods has already contracted large amounts of 4C Compliant Coffee for coffee year 2011/12 and will continue to do so in the coming years. We will also continue working with other sustainability standards to help more farmers and workers benefit from sustainable farming practices.” Additional purchasing commitments by other 4C industry members, including Coop and Tchibo Gmbh, further contributed to the increase in purchases. In order to meet the steady rise in demand for 4C Compliant Coffee, the 4C Association’s current priority is to further improve and streamline the 4C verification process while ensuring a continued high level of quality and credibility of the audits. To this end, the 4C Association has reviewed its verification guidelines and announced it would be organising trainings for verifiers in different coffee producing regions. The objective is to extend the network of independent auditors who are properly trained to conduct 4C verifications. “The increase in purchases and the recent commitments of many 4C Members prove that the 4C system is recognised as the baseline sustainability standard among coffee stakeholders,” says Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association. Our vision is to help build a thriving, sustainable coffee sector for generations to come. We will therefore continue to encourage purchases of 4C Compliant Coffee as well as certified coffee from other sustainability initiatives,” As a pre-competitive sustainability platform and to stimulate supply of and demand for verified and certified coffee, the 4C Association says it not only promotes its own baseline standard and verification system but also those of other sustainability standards. Two of the most recognised sustainability standards in the coffee sector, UTZ Certified and the Rainforest Alliance, are already 4C Members and said they are engaging with the association to broaden their impact.

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