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ICO seeks to boost coffee sector awareness of new EU deforestation regulations

With Europe importing more than a third of global coffee production, the ICO is seeking to ensure the sector is prepared for new regulations prohibiting the trade of products linked to deforestation in EU markets

The EU 27 accounts for 34% of total coffee exports for the 51 origins | Photo credit: via Shutterstock

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) has met with members of the European Commission to discuss how coffee businesses in the EU can ensure their supply chains are deforestation-free.
Along with its Coffee Public Private Task Force (CPPTF), the ICO held a webinar on the EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Supply Chains (EUDR) with more than 260 participants from across the coffee sector and representatives from the EU.
In a press release, the ICO said it was seeking to raise awareness of EUDR legislation, which requires businesses trading in commodities considered major drivers of deforestation, including coffee and palm oil, to ensure goods placed on the EU market have not contributed to forest degradation or violations of indigenous peoples’ rights.
Businesses face hefty fines for non-compliance – up to 4% of annual turnover.
“Combating deforestation should go hand in hand with creating incentives for a transition to a more sustainable use of natural resources, which will help preserve more intact forests, stimulate market opportunities for sustainable coffee products and ensure responsible consumption.”
As part of efforts to boost coffee industry awareness of the risk of deforestation-linked imports, the European Commission will assign a risk level ­– low, standard, or high – to producer countries.
The list will be available from the end of 2024 and “means that countries will be subject to enhanced scrutiny, meaning a higher level of minimum inspection rates obligations for member states competent authorities to conduct,” according to Astrid Ladefoged, Head of Unit, Planetary Common Goods, Universal Values & Environmental Security,
DG ENV, European Commission.
“Europe is the world's largest coffee market. On average, the EU 27 accounts for 34% of the total coffee exports for the 51 origins, meaning that Europe is importing and transforming more than one third of the coffee production of the world,” said Massimiliano Fabian, Chair of the International Coffee Council.
“As a depositary of the only trade instrument for coffee diplomacy and action, the International Coffee Agreement (ICA 2022), the ICO and its Coffee Public Private Task Force will be in a position to assist all stakeholders and partners in bridging the gap between aspiration and implementation,” Fabian added.

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