International Coffee Organization (ICO) marks new UK membership

The UK’s accession to the International Coffee Organization (ICO) is marked with a virtual ceremony on 28 January 2020

Bags of coffee ready for export in Colombia. The ICO says the value of global coffee exports from producing countries has risen from $8.4bn in 1991 to $35.6bn in 2018 | Photo credit: youleks



The UK completed the process of accession to the ICO and became an independent member from 1 January 2021. ICO Members currently account for 97% of world coffee production and exports and over two-thirds of coffee imports.
 
The virtual event will also see the launch of the ICO’s Coffee Development Report 2020. Key findings from ‘The Value of Coffee: Sustainability, Inclusiveness, and Resilience of the Coffee Global Value Chain’ include the value of annual coffee exports from producing countries has more than quadrupled from $8.4bn in 1991 to $35.6bn in 2018, with non-producing countries, including the UK, also significantly increasing exports of roasted coffee.
 
“Here in the UK, we drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day, and the coffee industry creates a multitude of jobs throughout the supply chain. I am pleased to mark the UK officially joining the ICO as an individual importing Member. This exciting event means that we will be able to continue to work together with other Members, to champion the global coffee sector and to ensure its sustainability,” said Victoria Prentis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
 
“The United Kingdom is the 10th largest importer, by volume, of coffee globally. By joining the ICO the UK is investing in this valuable sector. The ICO offers its members the opportunity to cooperate on a global level and learn from each other’s experiences in the coffee sector,” said ICO Executive Director Jose Sette.
 
The UK joins the ICO late in the organisation’s 57-year history, despite the fact that it was established in London in 1963 and remains headquartered there. The membership comes as the UK seeks to build new international trade relationships across a range of economic sectors following its departure from the European Union in January 2020.

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