Trading Practices for a Sustainable Coffee Sector: Context, Strategies and Recommendations for Action

By Jason Potts, Guido Fernandez, Christopher Wunderlich on January 18, 2008

The past decade has given rise to a growing number of voluntary standards for sustainable agriculture production. The coffee sector has proven to be one of the most vibrant and dynamic commodity sectors for standards development during this period, with standards being designed to serve distinct specialty and mainstream markets. For the most part, sustainability standards in the coffee sector have focused on specifying criteria for "sustainable production"—and yet, it is widely recognized that many of the greatest challenges facing the sustainability of the sector as a whole, and smaller producers in particular, are related to the sustainability of the trading relationships between producers and buyers in international markets. This paper, one of the first of its kind, takes a detailed look at the issues and range of options available for the integration of "sustainable trading practices" within existing coffee supply chains.

Report details

IISD, 2008