In networks: Together for better framework conditions
Tchibo joins other relevant protagonists from the industry, politics, business, associations, trade unions and the social environment in multi-stakeholder initiatives that work to promote better conditions in the coffee-growing countries. Political or structural issues often cannot be addressed or can be only partially addressed with individual projects. Urgent topics for coffee farmers include the expansion of the infrastructure, the provision of investment, and clear political regulations for environmentally and socially acceptable coffee cultivation.
Our aim and approach in alliances is to improve the structural and financial framework for farmers in the origins (economic perspective), and to support the local communities, especially women and children, in matters of education and additional opportunities for income (social perspective). In addition, we are committed to preserving the ecological basis for the cultivation of coffee (ecological perspective).
Global Coffee Platform
In March 2016, the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) – a cooperation between international coffee roasters and the Netherland’s Initiative for Sustainable Trade (IDH) as the public partner – teamed up with the 4C Association to form the Global Coffee Platform (GCP). The aim of the alliance is to unite all key stakeholders and initiatives in the coffee and tea industry – both private and public – in a global alliance and jointly address common issues. This will allow more joint activities to be realised at a global and national level. The action focuses on smallholders. More than 300 organisations have agreed to jointly cooperate with governments for this.
To this end, the GCP has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on the joint cooperation with the ICO (International Coffee Organisation), in which the governments of the producing countries are represented.
Within the framework of the GCP, we are assuming an active role in shaping a sustainable coffee sector. Tchibo co-founded the GCP and has a seat on its steering committee. An important result at the beginning of 2017 was the signing of another Memorandum of Understanding with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
As an open and inclusive organisation, the GCP will pursue the goal of implementing sustainable development in the countries where coffee is grown:
‘Vision 2020/2030’ forms the basis for the new alliance. Only if all stakeholders work together with a shared vision can a greater impact be achieved in increasing productivity and improving the living conditions of coffee farmers. The vision describes the measures that are necessary to create a sustainable coffee sector:
- Organise smallholders into cooperatives
- Improve productivity and income
- Avoid and prevent impermissible child labour
- Equal treatment of women and men, girls and boys
- Rehabilitate ecosystems
- Adapt to climate change, reduce contribution to climate change
- Access to funding, improve business knowledge
- Promote the producing countries’ sustainability agendas
30 GCP members from the private sector, including well-known roasters, exporters and coffee traders, have signed the shared agenda of the Vision 2030 Call for Collective Action.
National platforms: In addition to a global structure for the organisation, the establishment of national platforms with national participants was also supported. They can much better assess what is needed in a given country to promote the sustainable development of the coffee sector and initiate regional solutions. National Sustainability Curricula are being developed that delineate country-specific conditions for improving sustainability.
Global workstreams: The thematic fields of Vision 2030 are grouped into ‘workstreams’, as they involve global problems that require comprehensive solutions. The three workstreams deal with climate change, the economic viability of coffee cultivation, and the involvement of women farmers and youths.
Tools for support:
- A global framework for performance measurement that allows the sector to continually evaluate, improve and publish the development and achievements of sustainability measures.
- An online platform for learning, community education, and campaigns.
The Baseline Common Code as a sector-wide reference, to reach 100% of the coffee production community.
On the basis of these three pillars, one key GCP objective is to help coffee farmers form cooperatives and increase their productivity and income. Impermissible child labour is to be prevented and local society stabilised by supporting women and youths. Another aim is better environmental protection and the preservation of ecosystems.
International Coffee Partners
In 2001, Tchibo co-founded the International Coffee Partners (ICP) initiative, an association of leading European roasters and a green coffee trader. Based on the principle of helping people to help themselves, the ICP focuses on increasing the competitiveness of smallholders to increase their productivity based on sustainable farming practices in order to achieve a higher income and, thus, better living conditions.
Tchibo is involved in ICP projects in projects Latin America, Africa and Asia. Overall, ICP is currently active with projects in 12 countries. Those projects always directly address smallholders, their families, and local communities. Local and international development organisations, public authorities, NGOs and producer representatives are also involved.
A total of 17 projects have been completed since 2001, in which more than 12 million euros of private and public funding have been invested. More than 43,000 farmers and some 284,000 family members have been reached with these projects.
Coffee & Climate
Coffee cultivation is directly affected by the repercussions of climate change. For farmers to maintain or improve the quality and quantity of their income, they have to adapt their farming practices to the changing weather patterns. The Coffee & Climate initiative has supported them in this since 2010. Tchibo is a founding member – alongside other international coffee companies, a green coffee trader, and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The initiative is active in four strategically important cultivation regions for Arabica and Robusta beans: Brazil, Vietnam and Tanzania as well as Trifinio – a region of Central America in the border area between Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – where more than 70,000 coffee farmers are expected to benefit from the activities of the initiative by the end of 2018.
Coffee and Climate provides farmers and other local protagonists with tools and knowledge to identify climate change-related risks for local coffee cultivation and to communicate appropriate adaptation methods to the producers. One tool is the C&C Toolbox – a freely accessible online platform that provides best-practice methods, support, climate maps, and training material. In 2016, the Toolbox was further developed in 2016, case studies were authored in local languages, and cooperation with organisations at regional level was expanded. The initiative also makes the comprehensive 'Climate Change Adaption in Coffee Production' guide available on its website as another result of its work.
Biodiversity in Good Company
Tchibo promotes the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of ecosystems in coffee growing. That is why, in 2012, we became a member of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment’s 'Biodiversity in Good Company' initiative. The initiative brings together pioneering companies from different sectors to jointly develop solutions for preserving biodiversity worldwide. It also aims to raise public awareness of the issue of biodiversity.
When we joined, we signed a 'Leadership Declaration'. It commits us to integrating the preservation of biodiversity into our company’s environmental and sustainability management, and to pursuing appropriate goals and measures. In 2016, we published our third progress report on the Leadership Declaration.