The State of Sustainable Coffee: A Study of Twelve Major Markets

Daniele Giovannucci, Freek Jan Koekoek, THE STATE OF SUSTAINABLE COFFEE: A STUDY OF TWELVE MAJOR MARKETS, IISD, UNCTAD, ICO, 2003

200 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2007 Last revised: 25 Mar 2008

Daniele Giovannucci

Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA)

Freek Jan Koekoek

Mercadero

Abstract

The State of Sustainable Coffee provides the first comprehensive overview of the market conditions facing, organic, fair trade and shade grown or eco-friendly coffees (termed 'sustainable' coffees). It offers an understanding of the history and market development of the most popular certifications for sustainability: organic and fairtrade. It further outlines the volumes, trends, distribution channels, major players, and price premiums in 12 nations across Europe and Japan, as a companion to an earlier North American report. While some common parallels exist, such as the priority for consistency and quality standards, the substantial inter-market differences emphasize the need to approach each country and sometimes each distribution channel with an appreciation for its unique distinctions.

Overall, the striking emergence and growth of sustainable coffees has catapulted them quickly from a small niche industry to become a significant part of the mainstream market. Their growth has consistently eclipsed the growth rate of conventional coffee for more than a decade. As a result of their strict environmental and social standards, improved governance structures, better farm management, and price premiums, these sustainability initiatives are facilitating not only rural development but also agricultural trade competitiveness for developing nations.


In agriculture, it is the coffee sector that has arguably developed the most advanced experience with certified organic, fair trade, and eco-friendly products that are now shipped from more than half of the coffee exporting nations. A number of other goods ranging from commodities such as tea and sugar to meats, fruits and vegetables are following the coffee sector's innovative sustainability models. Although these sustainably produced products are not a panacea, they offer one of the few bright spots in developing country agricultural trade and provide considerable direct benefits to the more than one million coffee producing families that participate.

The book was published by IISD, the International Coffee Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development with the support of the International Development Research Centre and the World Bank.

Keywords: coffee, sustainable, standards, organic, fair trade, Rainforest Alliance, Starbucks, agriculture markets, supply chains, distribution channels, small farmers, eco-friendly, certifications, developing country, Europe, Japan, trends, sustainability

Suggested Citation

Giovannucci, Daniele and Koekoek, Freek Jan, The State of Sustainable Coffee: A Study of Twelve Major Markets. Daniele Giovannucci, Freek Jan Koekoek, THE STATE OF SUSTAINABLE COFFEE: A STUDY OF TWELVE MAJOR MARKETS, IISD, UNCTAD, ICO, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=996763

Daniele Giovannucci (Contact Author)

Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) ( email )

1008 S. 9 Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.thecosa.org

Freek Jan Koekoek

Mercadero

Agro Business Park 78
Wageningen, 6708 PW
Netherlands

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