Swisscontact is a founding member of the Swiss Sustainable Coffee Platform

Swisscontact has been working in many coffee-producing countries for decades. The development organization is now also a founding member of the Swiss Sustainable Coffee Platform (SSCP), which was officially launched on June 6, 2024 in the Kursaal Bern in the presence of Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin. The purpose of this initiative is to promote social, environmental and economic sustainability along the entire coffee value chain together with all relevant stakeholders.

The SSCP is a multi-stakeholder initiative launched jointly by the Swiss coffee industry Swiss government (represented by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO), civil society, and the scientific community. The SSCP promotes sustainable coffee production by fostering exchange between the various stakeholders as well as political dialog, involving the various interest groups in producing countries and creating synergies with international initiatives.

Working together towards comprehensive sustainability

There are around 13 million farmers in over 50 countries around the world engaged in coffee cultivation. As smallholder farmers, they often suffer under volatile coffee prices, low productivity, and high production costs. The effects of climate change and increasingly strict EU regulations present both challenges and opportunities.

Therefore, the SECO-supported initiative therefore intends to promote cooperation between key players such as the private sector, academia, and civil society. The partners involved strive for a common understanding of the sustainability challenges and have set specific goals for themselves in a statement of intent, the progress of which is monitored and reviewed by independent institutions.

Swisscontact: Many years of diverse experience

Swisscontact is already supporting farmers in coffee-producing countries as well as companies such as Louis Dreyfus Company, Nestlé, Ecom, Starbucks, and Volcafé with various projects to make the coffee industry more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient.

"Thanks to our extensive experience, we know that the challenges in the coffee sector cannot be overcome single-handedly. We need answers and a clear commitment from everyone involved. Swisscontact can make an important contribution as a bridge builder. We joined the SSCP because we believe in the power of a multi-stakeholder platform."
Stephanie Dreifuss, Director Partners & Clients Swisscontact

For example, in Honduras, where Swisscontact is promoting sustainable farming methods, improved market access, and better governance through a series of initiatives, placing particular emphasis on human rights, the prevention of child labour, and the economic empowerment of women. This has benefited tens of thousands of farmers and strengthened the competitiveness of the entire sector.

Swisscontact believes that this initiative lays the foundation for a sustainable future for the coffee industry and enables better living conditions, economic resilience, and higher productivity for coffee farmers in the participating projects.

Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin signs the declaration of intent.
"In order to master the challenges of sustainable coffee production, all stakeholders must work hand in hand to find solutions. (...). In this respect, the SSCP opens up very interesting avenues for cooperation, which is why the Confederation actively supports its launch and is pleased to be able to play a part."
Guy Parmelin, Federal Councillor
Philippe Schneuwly, CEO Swisscontact, signs the joint declaration of intent.