The year 2020 has long captivated the coffee sector’s imagination as an important milestone for the envisioned sustainability transformation set in motion after the 2002 coffee crisis. Over the years, sustainability solutions have been developed at a vast rate and are rapidly expanding in number, scope and global presence. In general, it seems the constraints and potential solutions are known, but a widely agreed collective strategy for achieving sustainability at the sector level remains elusive.
The coffee price crisis in 2019 emphasized the industry’s instability and vulnerability and makes one question whether the efforts to date are driving the much-needed change. Despite the growth on the consumption side, many coffee farmers and workers around the world are struggling to cover their basic needs. What steps have been taken in recent years to make coffee trade more sustainable for all stakeholders? Which trends can be identified and what are the current industry commitments to support the production of sustainable coffee? Is the industry making progress on these commitments? What has been the role of companies, NGOs, the finance sector and multi-stakeholder initiatives and who is holding the key to achieve the required transition to a more sustainable sector? 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. During this launch event, we invite you to participate in the discussion of how to stimulate sustainability at scale by crossing the spectrum of political, economic and ecological issues.