Fair Trade USA is pleased to announce the Global Coffee Platform (GCP) has officially recognized its Agricultural Production Standard (APS) as equivalent to the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code (SR Code) 3rd party assurance. This acknowledgment underscores Fair Trade USA’s dedication to maintaining rigorous standards, enhancing transparency, and advancing coffee sustainability.

“We are honored to receive equivalence to the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code, 3rd party assurance, from the Global Coffee Platform for our APS. This validation affirms our commitment to sustainable and ethical agriculture. A commitment that further empowers global farming communities to uplift themselves and reinforces our drive for equity and growth, as we nurture a brighter sustainable future for coffee producers worldwide,” said Sugumar Raman, Fair Trade USA’s Chief Program Officer.

What is the Global Coffee Platform? 
The Global Coffee Platform (GCP) is a multi-stakeholder membership association dedicated to advancing sustainability in the coffee industry for future generations. The GCP enables coffee producers, traders, roasters, governments, and NGOs to align and combine their efforts and investments. Collectively, members act on critical issues and priorities and strive for global growth of the sustainable coffee market. GCP Members and GCP’s Network of Country Platforms are working together to achieve transformational change in prosperity for one million coffee farmers by 2030.

Understanding the Coffee Sustainability Reference Code
The Coffee Sustainability Reference (SR) Code provides a foundational framework to support sustainable coffee production. It establishes a common language that enables farmers, producer organizations, business partners, donors, NGOs, financial institutions, and governments to advance their sustainability efforts collaboratively and effectively. The Coffee SR Code addresses ongoing challenges in the coffee landscape such as climate change, diversity, equity, and inclusion. By outlining common principles, practices, and outcome metrics, the SR Code facilitates the monitoring of progress across various certification organizations and other sustainability verification schemes.

Significance of 3rd Party Equivalence
Achieving equivalence with the Coffee SR Code signifies Fair Trade USA’s APS meets or exceeds the baseline requirements set by the SR Code. Unlike second-party or company-led schemes, third-party assurance involves independent oversight, ensuring that the entity performing the assessment and auditing processes is effective and impartial at the farm level.

“Fair Trade USA’s Agricultural Production Standard goes beyond the Coffee SR Code, particularly regarding economic requirements. This recognition confirms that Fair Trade Certification and the Coffee SR Code are complementary, enhancing the credibility and confidence in our certification process among stakeholders,” shared Mari Triplett, Senior Director of Packaged Goods.

What This Recognition Means for Fair Trade USA

GCP Coffee SR Code equivalency signifies any coffee produced and purchased on Fair Trade terms meets the requirements of the Coffee SR Code. This acknowledgement affirms the rigor and credibility of Fair Trade USA’s APS, and opens doors to greater collaboration with the GCP network and stakeholders in the global coffee industry.

Learn more about the Fair Trade Certified coffee program.