Watch the recording of: Getting Fair Fast #2 Launch of the Coffee Barometer 2020

Coffee sector in limbo after an era of marginal progress
Lotte de Groot
19 januari 2021

On January the 14th we had the launch for the Coffee Barometer 2020 live in Circl. During the webinar the challenges and potential solutions for a more sustainable coffee sector were discussed. Focus of this years Barometer was on the role of the industry players (traders, roasters, retailers). What steps have been taken in recent years to make coffee trade more sustainable for all stakeholders involved? Which trends can be identified and what are the current industry commitments to support the production of sustainable coffee? Do you want to learn more about the Coffee Barometer 2020 and how this industry is getting more sustainable? Then watch the recording of: Getting fair fast #2: Launch of the Coffee Barometer 2020.

A few questions as discussed in the webinar are highlighted below but watch the webinar for the full story!

What is the coffee barometer 2020?

The Coffee Barometer 2020, commissioned by a group of civil society organizations , provides an up to date overview on the state of sustainability in the global coffee sector and related performance of the major coffee companies.

Why the coffee barometer 2020?

Coffee companies made impressive sustainability commitments for 2020. Unfortunately, the Coffee Barometer concludes that most commitments are not being delivered. It is not that they do not have enough money. The largest part of global coffee revenues is earned by the top 10 coffee roasters, who received 55 billion dollars. In the meantime, coffee farmers only get a fraction of this amount, are hardly able to cover their basic needs and are under constant pressure to cut costs at the expense of the environment or by reducing wages. In round table events major sustainability issues are frequently discussed, sadly this does not translate into meaningful change. There are plenty of ideas and tools to make coffee production more sustainable. Even if there is uncertainty about the outcomes and actions, this is not an excuse to do nothing. The industry has to take collective responsibility and live up to their own commitments.

Why is the main focus of the report about the industry ‘players’?

This is the sixth edition of the Coffee Barometer and the main question is always: ‘What are companies saying they are doing and what are they actually doing?’. This time we really focused on the top ten roasting companies. Together they roast about 35% of all the green coffee that it is being made into consumer coffee. The idea of focusing on the top ten is that if the top ten moves in a certain direction they will cause a huge ripple effect and make the entire sector more sustainable.

What are the top ten industry players doing so far to become more sustainable and is that enough?

As can be seen in the report a lot of companies work on a lot of different areas of sustainability. Sjoerd Huysen, author of the report, thinks that what is missing is that when we talk about sustainability we talk about economic sustainability, social sustainability and environmental sustainability. The examples that we often get are just elements of that. But the difficulty is that the sector itself does not have a shared vision and a shared approach. A holistic vision and approach is missing.

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