Who we are

The coffee sector is confronted with many pressing issues: climate change, lack of interest from the next generation of coffee growers, aging coffee trees, and inadequate finance or land to name a few. There are no easy answers to the sustainability challenges threatening coffee supplies. What is clear is that when all actors cooperate, solutions become easier.

The 4C Association is about making cooperation happen. It is a multi-stakeholder organization of actors committed to addressing the sustainability issues of the coffee sector in a pre-competitive manner.

Over 130 participants representing the main stakeholders in the African coffee sector took part in the Sustainability Forum organized by the 4C Association and AFCA in Addis Ababa in February 2012.

Members of the 4C Association

To date, over 320 members have joined the 4C platform, including:

  • coffee farmers (both big and small);
  • traders (importers and exporters);
  • industry players (coffee roasters and retailers);
  • civil society (non-governmental organizations, standard setting initiatives and trade unions); and
  • individuals committed to the aims of the Association.

This global community works to improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of all who make their living from coffee.

The 4C Code of Conduct

The members of the 4C Association have developed the 4C Code of Conduct, which sets social, environmental and economic principles for the sustainable production, processing and trading of green coffee.

The 4C Code has a moderate entry level, including the exclusion of ten Unacceptable Practices, and commits participants to continuous improvement.

"Tchibo considers 4C a unique opportunity for all stakeholders of the coffee sector to jointly improve the sector's sustainability - which is also vital for tackling global challenges like climate change. We hope that all stakeholders are as convinced as we are that sustainability is the key to maintaining the coffee business in the long run. Tchibo also continues its strong commitment towards increasing the demand of 4C Compliant Coffee, a crucial aspect of 4C Association's success."
— Achim Lohrie, Director Corporate Responsibility of Tchibo GmbH, 4C Industry member —