Verification System

The 4C Association has developed a credible and efficient verification system. Through third-party independent verifiers, producer groups (4C Units) are evaluated on their performance and progress in implementing the 4C Code of Conduct.

The verification process begins when a 4C Unit has completed and submitted three documents:

Step 1

The 4C Unit then contacts an approved verifier in their region to arrange an initial verification.

Step 2

During the visit, the verifier checks documents and procedures, conducts interviews and collects evidence. The verifier also conducts risk-based checks of individual producers and partners involved with the 4C Unit. The number of risk-based checks are determined by calculating 50% of the square root of all producers and other partners outlined in the 4C Unit's Business Partner Mapping.

Step 3

If the verification is positive, 4C Units receive a license to sell 4C Compliant Coffee. Within six weeks of receiving the license, 4C Units must send an improvement plan to the 4C Secretariat showing plans to further improve their performance.

Step 4

On a yearly basis, 4C Units must update all their documents and complete the self-assessment evaluation, including a report on their improvement progress, and send to the 4C Secretariat.

Step 5

Re-verification is conducted every three years.

Step 6

Each year, all 4C Units are required to report the amount of coffee shipped to other Members of the 4C Association as 4C Compliant Coffee. The results are published in an aggregated form. This is called Commercial Reporting.

Step 7

For more information on the verification process, please see our FAQs.

Step 8