SUSTAINABILITY REPORT2017

In networks: Together for better framework condi­tions

GRI 304-3

Tchibo joins other relevant protag­o­nists from the industry, politics, business, associ­a­tions, trade unions and the social environment in multi-stake­holder initia­tives to promote better condi­tions in the coffee-growing countries.  

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 4C Associ­ation merged with the Sustainable Coffee Program (SCP) to form the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), in a bid to combine the strengths of the two organ­i­sa­tions and jointly achieve a greater impact in making the coffee sector sustainable. Many protag­o­nists of the coffee industry are involved in the GCP. The platform coordi­nates its members’ activ­ities and works on creating trans­parency about the numerous initia­tives in the coffee sector. The GCP serves as a moderator in the public-private dialogue and motivates its members to work for a more sustainable coffee sector. To facil­itate public-private dialogue, the GCP signed a Memorandum of Under­standing on collab­o­ration with the Inter­na­tional Coffee Organ­i­sation (ICO), in which the govern­ments of most producing and consumer countries are repre­sented, and developed a joint presen­tation in its ‘Vision 2030’. 

Tchibo was involved in the estab­lishment of the GCP and sat on its steering committee until October 2017. Due to the rotation principle on the board, the compo­sition of the steering committee has now changed. Tchibo continues to play a very active role in the GCP as a member and was instru­mental, for example, in making the Letter of Intent (LoI), which was signed with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooper­ation and Devel­opment (BMZ) at the beginning of 2017, happen. With this Letter of Intent, the GCP managed to put coffee back on the agenda of German Devel­opment Cooper­ation. As part of the action plan agreed in the LoI, the BMZ pledged financial support for the emerging Kenyan public-private coffee platform Sauti Ya Kahawa - The Voice of Coffee via the German Society for Inter­na­tional Cooper­ation  (GIZ), through the beginning of 2019.  

Meanwhile, further innovative and practical tools were developed for GCP members in 2017, such as various webinars, newsletters, workshops and the collab­o­rative exchange platform GCP Connect. The GCP is also working to develop common indicators for members, which can be used to measure whether and how the sector is devel­oping sustainably.   

As an open and inclusive organ­i­sation, the GCP will pursue the goal that its members work in a more focused manner and in voluntary alliances towards a sustainable devel­opment of the coffee sector. From 2018, members will be able to choose more specif­i­cally which countries and which topics (Economic Viability, Gender & Youth, Climate Smart Agriculture) they want to become involved with – ideally in new forms of public-private cooper­ation on complex, systemic topics – to strengthen the sector.  

„Vision 2020/2030“: 30 GCP members from the private sector, including well-known roasters, exporters, and coffee traders, have signed up to the common agenda of the Vision 2030 Call for Collective Action, and thus committed themselves to its imple­men­tation.  

The vision forms the basis of the new alliance and the shared under­standing with the ICO. Only if all stake­holders pursue a shared vision can a greater impact be achieved in 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 


National platforms: In addition to the organ­i­sation’s global structure, 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, bring together private- and public-sector stake­holders, and initiate regional solutions. National Sustain­ability Curricula are developed on the national platforms, which identify the country-specific condi­tions for improving sustain­ability. 

Collective Action Networks (CAN): The thematic fields of Vision 2030 are grouped into ‘CANs’, as they involve global problems that require compre­hensive solutions. The three CANs 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 (work in progress) 
  • An online learning platform  
  • The Baseline Common Code as a sector-wide reference. 

Based on the Sustainable Devel­opment Goals (SDGs), the members of the GCP have defined the prior­ities they want to work on in the years ahead: 


Inter­na­tional Coffee Partners

In 2001, Tchibo teamed up with four other leading private coffee companies (Löfbergs, Lavazza, Paulig and the Neumann Kaffee Group) to launch the Inter­na­tional Coffee Partners (ICP) initiative. In 2010, the Norwegian company Joh. Johannson joined, and in 2014 the Croatian coffee trader Franck. 

Inter­na­tional Coffee Partners imple­ments long-term model projects to strengthen the effec­tiveness of small­holders and their families, worldwide. The focus is on increasing the farmers’ compet­i­tiveness based on sustainable farming methods, and promoting the organ­i­sation of small­holders into cooper­a­tives – with the goal of empow­ering them to improve their living condi­tions. 

Inter­na­tional Coffee Partners cooperates with a wide range of partners from the public and private sectors. 

In over 15 years, Inter­na­tional Coffee Partners has completed 18 projects in 12 countries, into which more than 13.3 million euros in private and public funding were invested. This partnership has so far reached more than 63,000 small­holder house­holds. 

Initiative for Coffee & Climate

Tchibo is a co-founder of the coffee&climate initiative, which since 2010 has been addressing the issue of ‘Effects of climate change on coffee culti­vation’, because climate change poses a threat to coffee production and hence to the farmers' liveli­hoods. To help farmers adapt coffee culti­vation to the effects of climate change, coffee&climate has developed climate-friendly farming practices together with renowned scien­tists. Coordi­nated by the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation, local partners are trained to teach these practices to local farmers.  

By autumn 2017, the initiative had reached around 30,445 house­holds in Brazil, Trifinio, Vietnam and Tanzania whose livelihood depends on coffee culti­vation. In 2017 coffee&climate also intro­duced a new Toolbox containing guide­lines, manuals and 25 practical methods for adaptation and environ­mental protection, which were tested and validated with farmers on test plots. 

To encourage the imple­men­tation of these practices and foster inter­action and exchange at the local level, coffee&climate has initiated a Community of Practice (CoP) in Brazil. Local protag­o­nists organise meetings at which partic­i­pants share their knowledge about climate-friendly strategies and instru­ments in coffee farming. They also learn about coffee&climate's approach and help promote climate-friendly practices. Training courses and workshops are also part of the work on the ground.  

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. We will publish the next progress report in the third quarter of 2018.