Utilising the platform provided by World of Coffee (WoC), which took place in Milan from  23rd to 25th of June this year, the ICO Coffee Public-Private Task Force (CPPTF) arranged a special workshop on ‘Towards Partnerships for Sustainability/Targets & Actions for Specialty’.

The event piqued the interest of many professionals and guests, including ICO Members (Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea) as well as Conservation International, OLAM, CLAC, Illy Caffè, Solidaridad, Starbucks, SCA and GCP among others.

According to the ICO, one of the most important agricultural operations in relation to the global economy is coffee production, yet stakeholders in the industry, particularly those from nations that produce said coffee, face several environmental, economic and social difficulties. The ICO adopts a pragmatic and integrated approach, through its CPPTF, encouraging the co-responsibility of ICO member countries that import and export coffee, the private sector, development partners, and other stakeholders to address these challenges and ensure the long-term viability of the sector.

His Excellency Mr Iván Romero-Martínez, Ambassador of Honduras and Chair of the International Coffee Council (ICC), opened the event, highlighting the approval of the new International Coffee Agreement (ICA 2022) the previous week. He stressed how that achievement represented “a great opportunity to increase and improve engagement with the private sector for the benefit of the global coffee sector.”

The event served as a means to demonstrate how the ICO Task Force represents a distinctive consensus-building model to agree on and implement solutions, such as the development and implementation of cooperative public-private partnerships. Bridging the “living income gap” will result in “resilient coffee landscape interventions” that ensure sustainably produced and sourced coffee, improved market transparency and accessibility, as well as properly addressed impact of new regulations on the coffee industry.

Shared challenges require joint solutions! To adapt to significant and constant changes in the global coffee sector and fit within the specialty coffee market and segment, the ICO Task Force serves as a unique model in the multilateral space as it plays an active part in involving all stakeholders in the overall sector transformation.

Only together, partnering within the ICO Task Force, will we be able to support multiple sector areas, such as the capacity to adapt to climate change, income diversification to reduce livelihood vulnerability, and the empowerment of women, young farmers and entrepreneurs.

Vanúsia Nogueira, ICO Executive Director

All participants highlighted the need for stronger consumer and retail market involvement and agreed to put the ideas of the ICO Task Force into action. A public-private concerted effort is urgently needed to increase the sector’s sustainability, which depends on overcoming two major obstacles: enabling farmers to prosper, with a living wage serving only as a stepping-stone; and modernising the coffee industry by switching from mass production of coffee to high-quality, speciality coffee and adding value at the source.

The ICO Task Force event at the WoC Milan was an opportunity to emphasise the value of public and private discourse and actions. The effective implementation of national and international regulations and incentives for sustainable production practices will then advance sector-wide transparency. The event concluded with a discussion on the need to promote a resilient and inclusive coffee sector to ensure that future generations of coffee producers and consumers are dedicated to a sustainable future in coffee.

During its 122nd session in London in September 2018, the International Coffee Council (ICC) adopted Resolution 465 on “coffee pricing levels.” This prompted the ICO to host a Sector Dialogue to discuss coffee price levels with the appropriate sector players and the larger global community. It produced the “London Declaration,” a joint declaration of intent between stakeholders in the public and private sectors. It was signed the following September by 12 private sector companies and welcomed by the 125th ICC Session, which also adopted resolution ICC-125-10 asking the ICO to establish a coffee public-private task force.


  • Dhanliza Cellona


    Dhanliza is a writer based in the Philippines with more than 10 years of experience in editing and writing a wide range of content. She has written over 200 articles for a Japanese pop culture magazine and SEO articles for different clients from the US and the UK.

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