As the first sector in which certification was prototyped (already in the late eighties), individual large coffee roasters have invested a lot in their sustainability programs. To enhance cost efficiency, scale, and to exchange experiences also for the benefit of smaller coffee companies, governments and CSO’s, IDH co-built the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) and is prototyping new farmer sustainability programs on the ground.

IDH’s coffee program fosters global multi-stakeholder alignment on key sustainability issues, and seek to embed socially and environmentally friendly production techniques into the coffee supply chain.

IDH supports an industry platform in the creation of a precompetitive environment. A global partnership model that has the potential to bring sustainable coffee production to scale, and to improve the livelihoods of millions of coffee farmers worldwide.

In 2016 national coffee platforms have already proven to be successful in align extension materials to create one common training methodology  and/or significantly cutting costs by working together on tax rationalizations, law enforcement, train the trainer methodologies etcetera.


  • 1 No Poverty
  • 2 No Hunger
  • 5 Gender Equality
  • 8 Decent Work & Economic Growth
  • 12 Responsible Consumption

KPI Progress 2016

  • Change in Business Practice - Private Sector Investment Ratio

    Target 2020 1.5
    Target 2016 1.5
    Results 2016 2.5
    As a result of IDH’s convening efforts in Uganda, one of the main trade houses is now in the final stage (of a process that took place over 2016) of formally committing to significantly scale up their practice to buy directly from farmer groups. They will do so through a partnership with an international financial institution and will share the risks on smallholder farmers’ loans with IDH. For both the trade house and the financial institution these are significant changes in their business practices, as it will be the first time that they take risks on a portfolio of smallholder farmer loans.
  • Change in Sector Governance - Satisfaction about the effectiveness of multi-stakeholder processes

    Results 2016 7.7
    The national sustainability curriculum (NSC) in Indonesia led to a governmental decree safeguarding the NSC as the main coffee curriculum within the law. This is an important step towards the institutionalization of the curriculum, as it ensures the proper governance of the curriculum through a steering committee as well as the fact that the government will install an accreditation system. In Uganda, the NSC has had a similarly positive impact on policy discussion. Here, the public-private dialogue process to establish and roll out the NSC has been recognized as good practice. This has led to more involvement of the private sector in the development of the roadmap towards Uganda’s 2020 strategic targets for coffee: a process initiated by presidential decree and implemented by the office of the Prime Minister.
  • Field Level Sustainability - Number of producers/workers/ community members trained

    Target 2020 90.000
    Target 2016 50.000
    Results 2016 57.188

Impact Focus



In two of the following countries (Ethiopia, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Uganda), with the support of IDH, the coffee industry has implemented innovative service delivery approaches that (directly) improve productivity and livelihoods of 40,000 farmers, helping them become economically viable within five years (making them resilient beyond short-term donor funding).

Achievements on claim

A IDH wide seminar on service delivery models (SDMs) held in May 2016 drew three conclusions around SDMs that were relevant for the coffee program strategy:

  • Farmers need better service for more of their crops in order to grow into viable family farm businesses. Since this is not the expertise of coffee companies, partnerships with others need to be established.
  • Not all farmers are the same; different service needs require different service packages.
  • Access to investment capital is one of the key bottlenecks that needs to be addressed. We have been working with several partners on innovative ways to address all three.
  • The IDH coffee program will use the SDM approach and focus on these conclusions in all our new project developments. Which means we will look carefully at the economic viability of the service model, to ensure the project will lead to a financially stable SDM after project implementation.

Three cross-IP learning workshops were held in Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia (held Feb 2017 but part of 2016 plan).

  • The Vietnam workshop was supported by IDH only in terms of advice and participation, as it was owned and driven by the Vietnam Coffee Coordination Board (VCCB).
  • The Indonesia workshop was the first of its kind in the country, and was characterized by strong public representation and participation.


Well-functioning public-private dialogue platforms in six countries that bring stakeholders together around a common national sustainability agenda that improves coordination, policies and international credibility by 2020:

  1. Improvement in income for smallholder farmers via 20% increase in coffee yields for 20% of farmers (impacting 700,000 farming families indirectly) in Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania) and Indonesia.
  2. Adoption of climate- and resource-smart farming practices by 30% of Lam Dong farmers and 20% of Central Highland farmers. c. Improved gender equality and improved nutrition in target countries.

Achievements on claim

Indonesia and Vietnam

  • 13,200 farmers trained in the use of the National Sustainability Curriculum (NSC), with 123 active master trainers and 25 lead farmers trained as co-trainers.
  • The government of Indonesia issued a decree on the NSC development, and the SCOPI steering committee has approved its launch in mid-June 2017.
  • In 2016, the activities of Sustainable Coffee Platfrom of Indonesia (SCOPI) were aligned among members and they developed a program for 2017.
  • An inter-ministerial expert group has been established, which led to improved information sharing between key ministries on coffee issues, joint discussion on sector priorities, and strengthened cross-ministerial cooperation. The expert group contributed to the selection of the sector priorities, and has provided technical inputs to the development of the Coffee Fund.
  • The Vietnamese Coffee Collaboratio Board has further established itself as an effective public-private platform and ensures close collaboration and alignment within the sector – for example, with VnSAT and by jointly organizing consultation workshops.


  • National Advisory Board (NAB) and Brazil Working Group (BWG) consolidated and expanded during 2016.
  • Through a stakeholder consultation process of the Coffee Sustainability Curriculum (CSC), 18 key issues for the Brazilian coffee sector were identified, and the continuous rollout of the NSC with partners has led to further endorsement. For example, the partnership with SENAR – Federal Agency for Agricultural Training, created the Remote Senar course on sustainability and CSC and conducted the first courses.


  • The Terms of Reference of the National Coffee Stakeholder Committee were defined in a consultative process involving the relevant public- and private-sector players. The process was completed in December 2016 and awaits ratification by the National Coffee Conference in May 2017.
  • Advocacy links strengthened with local governments through development of district profiles for local governments in Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Mbeya and Ruvuma, focusing on three key areas: production trends, seedling production, income from coffee tax and how it’s utilized.
  • NSC has been launched in all eight production zones. The national extension delivery system acknowledges the training and examination process for NSC trainees.


  • Agreed Uganda Coffee Platform National Steering Committee Terms of Reference and member focal areas in early 2016.
  • Shared NSC extension videos with the sector in May 2016.
  • Completed 60 youth and 180 coffee community based facilitators training of trainers in original six pilot districts for NSC rollout.
  • Established NSC multi-stakeholder examination committee.
  • Held successful Vision setting workshop in June 2016 with 55 key coffee stakeholders.
  • Contributed to the Technical Working Group development of the National Coffee Communications strategy


The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) convenes at least 40% of international coffee industry (and other stakeholders) in dialogue with the most important coffee-producing countries to double global pre-competitive PPP investments under the GCP umbrella. The aim is to develop and implement policies for tangible improvements in smallholder livelihoods, adaptation to climate change, and access to finance.

Achievements on claim

  • In 2016, there was strong engagement with key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to create the Global Coffee Platform (GCP). The GCP was launched with key support from IDH in April 2016 and has been institutionalized throughout the year.
  • In October 2016, the first Membership Assembly took place, during which key stakeholders of the coffee sector and members of GCP came together and approved the GCP’s work plan.
  • IDH developed a study as a practical guide for the establishment and running of a national platform, where key lessons learned are shared.
  • Thematic breakout sessions were hosted during the first Membership Assembly of GCP to the Collective Action Networks: gender and youth and climate change.
  • To inform and develop the GCP’s country-specific plans, a workshop with key stakeholders was conducted. key sustainability issues in each of the focus countries, were used in planning the activities in 2017.
  • ICO has fully committed to the Vision 2020/2030 consultation workshops (of which ICO, IDH and GCP are the core partners) that IDH and GCP helped facilitate through the national platforms and IDH contracted national coordinators. These workshops were held in eight countries and will form the basis for the GCP 2017 country plans. ICO has actively participated in the first Membership Assembly of GCP.

Lessons Learned

The last four years have given us a good picture of the different initiatives in the coffee sector, and allowed us to build stronger relationships with the private sector. We have a better picture of the strategies and commitments of our partners, and are therefore better able to identify who are our best partners to work on certain innovations. Actively supporting organizations to jointly develop a project will allow us to better safeguard our interests and more closely monitor the progress of the project. We shall therefore be better able to ensure successful prototypes lead to our proof of concept, and fully understand the factors that have contributed to that success. Sufficiently understanding these success factors is important in developing the roadmap to scale up.

Creation of a new organization takes time, particularly when integrating two teams with different locations and cultures. The formation of the Global Coffee Platform took a lot more management time to organize and restructure, leading to a delay in external focus and delivery.

In times of transition, communication with key sector stakeholders and associations to ensure that they are aware and up-to-date with developments is very important. Messages need to be clear and simple, focusing on the value proposition rather than the process.

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