Coffee Could Be…Sustainable

What if all coffee was produced and traded according to sustainable practices? The sustainability framework establishes a common language, sets common goals and shows how our individual and collective action get us closer to our vision of a sustainable coffee sector.

What would it take to achieve our goals? How close are we now? What else is needed? What can I do?

These are all questions the coffee sector is asking. Sustainability can be confusing. We use the word to mean so many different things — strengthening market demand, improving producers' livelihoods, conserving nature, sustaining supply. And we often approach it from different starting points and with different lenses.

What if we could see how our individual contributions added up to sector-wide impacts? This is the purpose of the Framework — to provide a collective vision for the sector, a definition of success we can all stand behind and a compass to guide us along the journey. The Framework shows how each action, each path has the ability to make a meaningful contribution towards our ambitious vision. It is also designed to provide guidance to those considering new interventions.

The framework consists of five key components: a common definition of success, a guiding compass, 15 intervention pathways, common impacts and outcomes and a common theory of change showing how the pieces add up to a collective whole.

It was developed by the Sustainable Coffee Challenge partners together with the Global Coffee Platform as part of an inclusive and consultative process. The sustainability journey is ever changing, as are the challenges facing the sector. We expect the framework to adapt and grow over time to meet these changing needs and to guide our actions in making coffee the world's first sustainable agricultural product.

Our Actions Matter

We all have a role to play in the transition to a sustainable coffee sector. Although we are taking action on different issues and in different geographies, they all ladder up into a set of common outcomes and impacts.

We have mapped 15 interventions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in order to demonstrate and communicate the contribution the coffee sector is making to sustainable development. The common outcomes serve as a stepping stone between our interventions and the SDGS and our compass points.

We will have achieved our vision when all coffee is produced meeting sustainable practices

These sustainable practices will:

  • Ensure coffee contributes to improved income and profitability for the 25 million coffee producers, workers and their families.
  • Implement sustainable agricultural practices to triple productivity on existing 10 million hectares of coffee to sustain supply and enable the sector to meet rising consumption and the growing demand for coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
  • Prevent the clearing of one additional hectare of high conservation-value forest or depleting other natural resources for enhanced coffee production.