Fairtrade International became a member of the 4C Association on 17 September, joining the global sustainability platform for the coffee sector.
In becoming a 4C Member, Fairtrade International joins a forum that includes a growing number of producers, trade and industry representatives, and civil society organisations that work together to address sustainability issues affecting coffee.
“We joined the 4C Association to continue making sure the voice of small coffee farmers is heard on a global stage,” said Lee Byers, Senior Adviser on Coffee and Tea at Fairtrade International, in a statement. “The 4C Association is an ideal forum for meeting with other important actors in coffee. We’re looking forward to joining the discussion on topics like climate change adaptation, quality and productivity investments, and more.”
Beyond providing a forum for members, the 4C Association helps coffee farmers and businesses take their first steps to applying sustainable production practices, the organisation stated. The 4C Code of Conduct, a baseline sustainability standard and verification system, is a starting point for producers to build up to other more demanding sustainability certifications, such as Fairtrade and others.
The statement noted that both Fairtrade International and the 4C Association actively collaborate with other sustainability initiatives. By working together, the standards organisations will aim to offer better support to producers and companies with multiple certifications, strengthen programs for producers, and ultimately increase the overall volumes of verified and certified sustainable coffees.
“We believe Fairtrade’s global scale, reach and experience of working directly with small coffee farmers for over 25 years can bring an extremely valuable contribution to the 4C Association’s work in broadening sustainability across the sector,” stated Melanie Rutten-Sülz, Executive Director of the 4C Association.
Two other leading standard-setting organisations, which are active in the coffee sector, UTZ Certified and the Rainforest Alliance, are also members of the 4C Association.