4C Joined the Partnership for Gender Equity to Support the Development of the Gender Equity Index

The Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE), with the support of a group of coffee and cocoa partners including 4C, aims to develop and launch a new tool called the “Gender Equity Index”. It will support companies and organizations which provide services and technical expertise to farmers and farmer groups, enabling them to effectively reach more women.

Over 70,000 women cultivate and process 4C certified coffee around the world. The 4C standard prohibits discrimination on a gender basis and ensures that the procedures to act against discrimination and harassment are in place. To strengthen its work on gender equality, 4C has partnered with PGE to support the development of the “Gender Equity Index”.

Starting from November 2020, 4C has been working on the development of verifiable criteria on gender equality in coffee production to be added to its core certification on a voluntary basis. These criteria will be applied to identify gender inequalities at farms and create action plans, following the continuous improvement framework of the 4C standard. Participating 4C System users will also be able to make credible claims with regards to sustainable 4C certified coffee products which promote gender equality, thus, highlighting their efforts in this area.

The purpose of the “Gender Equity Index” of PGE is to evaluate the design and implementation of advisory and extension services, helping provider organizations to integrate and expand the topic of gender equity in their programs. The “Gender Equity Index” diagnostic will offer recommendations and resources to assist service providers as they prioritize action to address identified gaps.

“Although the 4C Code of Conduct already has a strong linkage to UN SDG 5 on Gender Equality (ITC 2020), we see further potential to deeper address the existing disparities and promote women empowerment on a global scope,” – said Norbert Schmitz, Managing Director at 4C Services GmbH. – “We are hopeful that with this partnership we can contribute to the development of the Gender Equity Index and obtain learnings to strengthen the 4C sustainability standard in terms of gender equality and empowerment of women in the coffee sector.”

Kimberly Easson, CEO at PGE said, “The development of the Gender Equity Index will benefit from input and experience of the 4C team. Their in-kind and financial contribution reflects an understanding that sustainability projects must consider gender in order to drive impact.”

Greg Meenahan, Co-Developer of the Gender Equity Index said, “This represents the first commitment from a sustainability certification organization.  It’s a recognition that gender equality needs to move past specific “gender projects” and become seamlessly woven into all sustainability projects and investments.”

About 4C:

4C is a leading sustainability certification scheme for the coffee industry. 4C certification focuses on good agricultural and management practices, including requirements on economic, social and environmental conditions for coffee production and processing in order to establish credible sustainable and transparent supply chains.


About PGE:

The Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) is creating common tools and methodologies to support the coffee and cocoa industries’ engagement and investment in gender equity across the value chain. These tools will serve to improve the livelihoods of producers and enhance the sustainable supply of quality coffee. Their evidence-based approach comprises three core elements: a validated set of tools, a common language for gender equity and a platform for action that supports scalable investments and action across the sector.