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International Coffee Council to set up private sector taskforce to act on price levels

Members of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) have agreed to set up a taskforce with the private sector to draw up a roadmap and explore further actions on price levels and volatility as well as long-term sustainability.

The decision comes amid the backdrop of sustained low coffee prices, and follows a group of private sector companies and organisations signing the London Declaration at the ICO CEO and Global Leader Forum in September.

Bringing together more than 40 countries in London from 23 to 27 September 2019, the International Coffee Council, chaired by Ms Stefanie Küng of Switzerland, considered the London Declaration, which was signed by leading roasters, traders, and retailers, and supported by key sector and development organisations.

“The Declaration is the result of a complex consensus-building exercise to implement Resolution 465 and successfully carry out a Structured Sector-wide Dialogue, mobilising coffee stakeholders in the coffee value chain and the international roasting industry,” ICO Executive Director José Sette says.

“Using the convening power of the ICO, we will continue our efforts to mobilize stronger political support and resources from multilateral mechanisms, international organizations and the private sector in order to address the short- and long-term sustainability of the coffee sector.”

The declaration sets out commitments by private sector enterprises to work with governments, development partners, civil society, and each other, with the objective of implementing practical and time-bound actions to address the coffee price crisis that concerns the world’s coffee farming community.

In pursuance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, members of the International Coffee Council confirmed their commitment to work with the signatories of the London Declaration and other stakeholders to jointly define detailed and concrete actions.

The outcome of the taskforce to be considered at the second CEO and Global Leaders Forum during the fifth World Coffee Conference in Bengaluru, India in September 2020.

The ICO also introduced its first flagship report, the 2019 Coffee Development Report, which contains an in-depth and independent assessment of key trends in the coffee sector, the links between low prices and development issues, and 50 possible actions to address the economic challenges faced by the world coffee sector and to foster its long-term sustainability. The full report will be released on 1 October – International Coffee Day.

The International Coffee Council will next meet from 27 April to 1 May 2020 in London.

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