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ICO’s strategic review sets course for the future

From the December 2016 issue.

The International Coffee Organization has just completed a strategic review of its operations.

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With more than five decades of history working to bring together the perspectives and voices of the many government organisations that play a role in the global coffee industry, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) has seen seismic shifts in the way the international coffee industry works.

As the world around it has changed, so too has the ICO, but in late 2016 the organisation resolved to undertake a strategic review “with the goal of sharpening the strategic focus and defining better the priorities of the Organization and its members, in order to provide adequate guidance to the secretariat.”

Charged with conducting this review was the ICO’s Head of Operations, Marcela Urueña Gómez.

Over a period of four months, Urueña consulted widely with the ICO’s key stakeholders, both through remote surveys and physical meetings.

“Overall, it was clear to everyone involved in the review (ICO member governments and the ICO staff) that this kind of process was long overdue and critical to the future of the Organization,” Urueña tells Global Coffee Report. “One thing that was quite surprising to us was the overwhelming response we had to a public survey we conducted where hundreds of members of the coffee community gave us their honest feedback on the work of the Organization and what could be done to improve. Ultimately, the ICO is an intergovernmental organisation and that means we’re here to serve the entire coffee community, both public and private, so we were pleasantly surprised and honoured that so many people gave us their feedback.”

Over the course of the consultation, Urueña says that the overall response to the direction of the ICO was positive, but expectations for the work it does were high.

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