• Announcement
14. January 2021

The Coffee Collective presents its findings regarding the year in coffee 2020. With a special interest in the transparency of value chains of global coffee companies, they survey what policies towards a more sustainable and fair way to produce coffee are promising and where they are falling short. The barometer compiles and visualizes all of these and more data in compelling graphics. The study will be published on the official website of the project that can be found under coffeebarometer.org.

The Coffee Barometer 2020: Transparency for More Sustainability

Over 35 percent of the global coffee trade is controlled by only ten coffee roasters. Just 10 percent of the value generated along the supply chain of coffee remains in the countries of origin and ten to twenty million hectares of forest could be lost due to climate-driven expansion of coffee farmland. These are only some of the findings of the coffee barometer 2020 that will be published on January 14th.  

The coffee barometer is a report by the so-called Coffee Collective including the NGOs Conservation InternationalHivosOxfam Belgium and Solidaridad. In cooperation with various other organisations and financially supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, it documents and analyses developments in the global coffee sector. The barometer illustrates the challenging hurdles to be overcome to reach ecological, social, and economical sustainability for all actors. Based on its findings, it also suggests several ways in which these challenges can be taken on.   

In the process, the barometer highlights some obscurities affiliated with the global coffee trade. Over half of global coffee exports are handled by the members of the Swiss Coffee Trade Association (SCTA). But barely any beans touch swiss soil since they mostly trade futures that they then sell to dealers down the line. Of course, the actual coffee farmers, who are currently experiencing a time of rock-bottom prices for their crops, never see the profits generated in this process.   

The effects of COVID-19 along the supply chain are also documented in the barometer. While the sudden inflation of people working from home-generated increasing sales of in-home coffee products like coffee-capsules, people in coffee-producing countries were struggling.  

The report also focuses on the effectiveness of voluntary sustainability standards available to coffee producers like Fairtrade to certify their products. However, especially in-house sustainability programs are lacking transparency and are based on only vaguely formulated standards. Adding to this, lacking consumer-demand for certified products is hindering these programs to better working conditions and sustainability especially at the roots of the supply chain.