‘It is crucial the organisational capacity of farmers to strengthen, just as the insight into the value of their product in the entire supply chain,” writes Stefaan Calmeyn from Oxfam as a result of the Coffee Barometer 2018. He advocates for a fairer and more sustainable coffee.
With a global turnover of 170 billion euro per year is coffee big business. Tens of millions of people live, hundreds of millions drink it every day. But not everyone is equally excited. While it is widely expected that the consumption will continue to rise, offers coffee to the producing countries it is less comforting : only 10% of the revenue is their share.
The strong concentration of power in the coffee market is not foreign to that. Some of the ever-growing multinationals ironing a huge share in the trading, processing and sale to consumers under various brands and types (supermarket, coffee bars,…). That is apparent from the Coffee Barometer 2018, a report that the problems and challenges in the sector under the microscope. The same Coffee Barometer points in addition to a wave of mergers and acquisitions continues to grow. All in the character of a competition for the biggest part of the cake. That some koffiereuzen put a huge pressure on prices in all links of the chain – pressure maximum is shifted to the first turn, the coffee farmer and his land, on which he tea cultivation.
This ensures that coffee farmers with a lack of income and are confronted with aggressive buyers. This leads to a downward spiral that the (younger) farmers are not motivated to continue to believe in the growing of coffee. In addition, collect the producer is also a lot of ecological shocks that are due to the capricious climate change and the increasing impoverishment of the soil. Additional agricultural land to tap for the growing of coffee is also not a solution; there must be, especially, are prevented from that still more forests fall.
“How can the coffee farmer to invest in the future as he is so little for his coffee opstrijkt?’
Can it be done differently? More durable?
Of course you can, and should! The challenge is to be more sustainable and climate-friendly coffee production at a constant surface area. This can even be used in combination with other useful crops such as fruit and other trees, (edible) ground cover and green manure crops, erosiebestrijdende hagen,… But that requires investment and how can we expect from the producer as he is but a small part of the value of his coffee opstrijkt ? And where is the responsibility of the koffiebedrijven?
The major brands of tackle, although with programs that have their sustainability in the paint to put positive efforts of the industry that are so desperately needed. Only, we note that it is often a drop on a hot plate. Currently, it is estimated that 300 million euros will be invested in the ‘sustainability agenda’ within the sector, which represents only 2 per cent of the total turnover.
Currently, it is estimated that 300 million euros will be invested in the ‘sustainability agenda’ within the sector, which represents only 2 per cent of the total turnover.
A lot of sustainability initiatives and certification schemes lack the in addition to clear objectives, criteria and transparency in the (independent) control, as with a strong social component. Too often, this is also the field of foundations and corporate social responsibility departments within companies. Sustainability is, however, from beginning to end in the business operations to be integrated and not just the flagship of a niche of production. The healthy future of the sector depends on it.
The fact that ‘self-regulation’ on the boundaries to encounter, should governments that it’s good for the coffee farmers also have to wake up. More coordination and cooperation within the sector is necessary, under the impulse of the authorities that a mandatory regulatory framework may impose, in function of respect for human rights and ecological sustainability.
Oxfam-Wereldwinkels is believed that coffee is an interesting cultivation can continue for farmers in the South. Now is the unequal distribution of growth and profits, unfortunately, the norm in the coffee market. But there are also counter-examples of sustainable and fair trade. These depart from respect for the producer and the quality of his product, offer a good price, including pre-financing, draw on additional (technical) support for production and processing, and investing in direct contact with the producers. Examples where farmers pool their resources in cooperatives to make themselves as resilient.
It is crucial for the organisational capacity of farmers to strengthen, as well as the insight into the value of their product in the entire supply chain.
It is crucial that the organisational capacity of farmers to strengthen, as well as the insight into the value of their product in the entire supply chain. The only way they can improve their situation compared to other players, and with the knowledge to act as reliable suppliers to their customers.
We, in our turn, as conscious consumers choose tea that is high quality and delicious, and for a long-term partnership with the coffee farmer and his soil.