The Pledge: A common code for transparency reporting
Recently I was in Atlanta at the Transparent Trade Colloquium meeting with likeminded leaders within the specialty coffee industry who are working towards solutions to address the historically low and unsustainable global coffee prices. While there, I had the opportunity to connect with Peter Dupont from the Coffee Collective in Copenhagen who introducted me to the following Pledge innitiative which we eagerly joined. The following is a statement being released globally and links to the new website.
Financial transparency to counter the catastrophic coffee price crisis
The ridiculously low commodity coffee price is currently driving hundreds of thousands of coffee farmers and their families into financial ruin and migration. Coffee plants are being cleared on a massive scale and replaced by coca cultivation or other crops. The consequence: the loss of the livelihood of these families. The coffee industry has not yet found any effective answers to this catastrophic development.
In order to provide better prospects for coffee cultivation and thus for farmers in the countries of origin, several of the world's most influential coffee roasters have now joined forces to form "The Pledge". The joint concept will be presented and published on Thursday 27 July 2019.
Transparency is at the heart of our joint strategy. All participating roasters agree to disclose their specific trading practices and the FOB (Free On Board) prices paid to coffee farmers to the public. The inflationary used term "transparency" is filled with content. This enables the participating roasters to demonstrate their own commitment and to distinguish themselves from those who only use it for marketing purposes.
The participating direct trade roasters from the United States (including Counter Culture Coffee, Seattle Coffee Works, Onyx Coffee Lab), Australia (including Seven Seeds) and Europe (including Tim Wendelboe, Coffee Collective, Quijote Kaffee) as well as fair trade pioneers (e.g. Tradecraft, Café Campesino) claim to create solutions for the coffee industry and to fundamentally change trade together.
Conventional business practices and trade based on the commodity market price, on the other hand, are fundamentally questioned by the roasters involved. Instead, innovative and fair approaches are shared and common standards created. The focus is on various models of direct trade relations with producers and the negotiation of fair prices at partnership level. A meaningful and fair pricing system is intended to secure the long-term existence of coffee-producing families and great coffee.