Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2017

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Page 30 of 115

31 DEBUT WORLD COFFEE PRODUCERS FORUM PLOTS ROADMAP TO DEAL WITH COMMON CHALLENGES THE FIRST WORLD COFFEE PRODUCERS FORUM, which was held in the Colombian city of Medellín from July 10 to 12 and brought together representatives of the whole coffee value chain, has plotted a true roadmap to deal with common challenges. Figures of international stature such as former United States Presi- dent Bill Clinton, university professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, and International Coffee Organization (ICO) executive director José Sette were joined by the presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, and Honduras, the vice president of El Salvador, agricultural ministers, and representatives of the whole coffee value chain—starting, of course, with producers. The Forum concluded with a "fi nal declaration" that includes an ac- tion plan to face the common challenges coffee producers worldwide are up against, among other specifi c measures. The objective of the action plan, to be developed collaboratively by stakeholders of the global value chain and with the support of the ICO, is to set concrete goals, the time period in which to meet them, and the required funding. Taking into account the recommendations made at the Forum, the action plan will be based on a study to be conducted by an indepen- dent body to analyze the behavior of coffee prices in the last 40 years, production costs in this same period, and their correlation. The study will analyze whether international coffee prices, both at the New York and London stock exchanges, refl ect the reality of the physical market, and will present alternative solutions to the problems discussed in the Forum. The fi nal declaration resolved that a collaborative commitment to im- plementing the action plan and funding it must be achieved at the highest level with representatives of the industry, donors, international coopera- tion, multilateral organizations, and national and local governments. For the actions to be developed, a committee will be formed, made up of two representatives of producer associations from African countries; two each from Mexico, Central American, and Caribbean countries; two from South American countries; and two from Asian ones; and at least one representative of the industry in each of the following regions: North America, Europe, and Asia. The committee is charged with submitting a progress report at the next meeting of the ICO's International Coffee Council, to be held in March 2018. The next World Coffee Producers Forum will take place in 2019, and the committee will coordinate its venue. Three countries have volun- teered so far to host the event. "We have just started a new process in the world coffee sector," says Roberto Velez, CEO of the (FNC, the host organization). "Today we fi nished a refl ection, assembling ideas, a process of listening to each other, but it is only the beginning of what we hope is a new stage." He even raised the possibility that this new way of understanding, collaboration, and co-responsibility between consumers and producers— this new North-South relationship between developed and developing countries—may set the course toward a new global economic history. The spirit of the fi nal declaration took account of the main conclu- sions and recommendations of the Forum with an active participa- tion of delegates. —From staff reports In the session, "Economic Sustainability and Rural Development to Promote Global Stability and Democracy," former United States president Bill Clinton (le ) and Colombian president Juan Manual Santos Calderón weighed in.

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