How we are governed

The 4C Association enables its broad and diverse membership to fully participate in all major decision-making processes of the organization.

How we are governed

A key element of the 4C Association is its participatory decision-making process. Coffee farmers, trade and industry, as well as civil society members are all represented in the governance structure of the association and have equal decision-making powers.

These three stakeholder categories are grouped into three chambers: the producer chamber, the trade and industry chamber, and the civil society chamber. The three chambers are equally represented in every 4C governance organ, including: the General Assembly, the Council, the Technical Committee and the Mediation Board.

The 3rd 4C General Assembly | Geneva, Switzerland | September 2012

Governance organs

The General Assembly

The General Assembly includes all members and is the supreme authority of the 4C Association. If possible, the decisions are taken in consensus. 
Read the By Laws of the General Assembly.

The Council

The Council of the 4C Association is elected by the General Assembly. It is the organisation’s representative decision-making body, and is made up of 10 members who represent the three Chambers (producers, trade and industry and civil society). The producer group has the strongest representation within the Council. In addition, the Council can propose to the General Assembly the inclusion of up to two additional individuals as Council members. Once they are accepted by the General Assembly, these individuals acquire the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of the Council members. The 4C Association currently has 11 Council representatives

Read the By Laws of the 4C Council.

The Technical Committee

The Technical Committee is appointed by the Council. Its primary task is to recommend modifications and revisions of the 4C Code. It is also responsible for assessing the conceptual quality and impact of 4C Services, tools, technical documents and capacity development activities. The 4C Association currently has 7 Technical Committee representatives.
Read the By Laws of the Technical Committee.

The Mediation Board


The Mediation Board is responsible for settling disputes arising from the misinterpretation of or the failure to respect the Statutes of the 4C Association, its Rules of Participation and the 4C Code itself. 
The 4C Mediation Board currently has 13 members. Please click here to find out more about them. Read the By Laws of the Mediation Board.

The 4C Secretariat

The Secretariat administers the 4C Association, intensifies cooperation with existing initiatives, coordinates support activities and prepares for the decision-making processes. Get to know our team, visit the contact page.