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What do system users think about 4C?

Browse this page to learn how 4C supports the implementation of sustainability targets of our system users

Roasters and brand owners

“IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR NESTLÉ to be supplied with Responsibly Sourced coffee. This means knowing where the coffee came from and how it was grown, using independent and internationally recognized standards and methods to verify or certify it. 4C certification has been playing a major role in our Responsibly Sourced coffee journey, with its inclusive and farm-group-based sustainability approach enabling a scale that benefits a large number of farmers and suits well the size and breadth of our business. Over the past few years, there have been great improvements and developments of the 4C program, using new learnings and technologies to make it even more robust and relevant for the entire coffee sector. We continue to support the 4C program and its enhancement actions.”

Marcelo Burity, Head of Green Coffee Development, Nestlé (UK)

“4C SERVICES, ITS STANDARD, AND PARTICULARLY ITS ENGAGEMENT for sustainable structures and processes on the ground is a relevant factor for Melitta as well as for the coffee sector as a whole. Against this background, we have started a joint project supporting growers communities in Colombia fostering the attractiveness of coffee farming for the youth.”

Stefan Dierks, Director Sustainability Strategy, Melitta Group Management GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) 

“WE WILL PROMOTE ETHICAL CONSUMPTION BY MARKING 4C CERTIFICATION LOGO ON OUR PRODUCTS. In the autumn of 2020, for the first time in the Asian market, we at Ajinomoto AGF introduced the marking of the 4C certification logo into the packaging for some of our flagship stick coffee products. 4C program has established sustainable, trustworthy, and fair coffee supply chains by applying strict criteria to economic, social, and environmental conditions for the production and processing of coffee. We will continue to promote the realization of sustainability in the production and distribution of coffee beans through the procurement of the coffee beans cultivated on coffee farms conformable to the 4C certification system.”

Hideki Takeuchi, Corporate Executive Deputy President, Ajinomoto AGF, Inc. (Japan)

Producers and cooperatives

“COCATREL HAS BEEN A PARTNER OF 4C for a long time and, in this process, we have found that 4C helps us a lot in directing the sustainability and continuous improvement projects that are brought to the producer, since these are implemented and worked on jointly with 4C. We have achieved greater credibility in both foreign and domestic markets, and we pay good prices for the producer’s coffee through market liquidity, which is often guaranteed through 4C certification. We recommend 4C because it is the largest coffee certification in the world and because it is serious, respected, and accessible to small, medium, and large producers, thus uniting all links in the coffee production chain.”

Gabriel Miari, Coordinator Trader and Thamiris Bandoni Pereira – Responsible for Certifications, COCATREL (Brazil)

SINCE JOINING 4C, SIMEXCO has seen positive impacts on farmers’ lives with regards to economic, social, and environmental aspects. Not only that but also the general awareness of farmers has greatly improved. Today they are confident about applying fertilizers according to the usage criteria and handling pesticide bottles and containers properly to prevent harming the environment. Farmers have successfully applied good agricultural practices on their coffee farms and already experience multiple advantages of sustainable farming.”

Sustainable Team, SIMEXCO DAK LAK LTD (Vietnam)

“4C AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 4C CODE OF CONDUCT have been valuable in the Colombian coffee industry to adopt the concept of sustainability on the farms for a large number of producers, increase the visibility of small producers and allow them to enter the supply chains of differentiated and specialty coffees. It has been possible to take farms to a higher level in terms of good agricultural practices and cultivation in each of the related components. Moreover, it has been achieved to a great extent that coffee growers are aware of the necessity to care about the environment, advancing in the implementation of good practices, and very importantly can leverage projects that benefit communities with the participation of international actors in the supply chain, such as clients interested in supporting sustainability projects and programs.”

Diego Robles Marcucci, Sustainable Trade Specialist, Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (Colombia)

“WE AT OUTSPAN IVOIRE S.A. BELIEVE THAT 4C positively contributes to several important aspects of coffee production, including quality of coffee, management of farmer networks and cooperatives, introduction and active implementation of good agricultural practices as well as the promotion of a caring attitude towards the protection of the environment. Over the years with 4C, we have been able to put in place a coffee demo plot increasing farmer knowledge of good production techniques, introduce a training school for farmers, and map coffee plantations for better monitoring and evaluation. Moreover, the premium received by 4C certified farms was used to purchase solar energy lamps and vehicles for easing the commute in the hinterland and provide education for children by sending them to school. The 4C certification of the supply chain has brought in more belief from the customers and, with more traceability, increased the quality of coffee sourced.”

Anubhav Kanodia, Outspan Ivoire S.A. (Ivory Coast)

WE RUN TRAINING AND SUPPORT PROGRAMS for the farmers to help them to achieve compliance with the 4C requirements. We also provide loans and subsidies for investments required. 4C is a comprehensive system ensuring sustainability on the farm. It is comparable with other schemes. It is practical and well recognized in our cooperative and with the participating farms.”

Maria Hernandez, Cooperativa de Caficultores de Andes Ltda (Colombia)

THE 4C PROGRAM HELPS US TO develop the organization of our fincas and to increase the awareness regarding environmental issues. The quality of coffee beans has also been improved. Fair agreements with workers have been implemented thanks to 4C.”

Diana Florez, President, Ubaque UbaCafé Cooperativa (Colombia)

THE 4C PROGRAM HELPED ME TO reduce the amount of fertilizers applied in the coffee fields, as before joining the 4C program we were applying fertilizers without criteria. We also increased our income diversifying our production with banana and pepper thanks to the trainings provided by the 4C program. We started to keep our records related to production costs and now we have a good overview of our cash flow and financial results.”

Ngatinem Dsn. Kampung selang, Baturetno Dampit – Malang (Indonesia)

Certification Bodies

“I (AND CAFECONTROL) HAVE COOPERATED with 4C Services (former 4C Association) since 2007. I have participated in many 4C audits as an auditor and evaluator; and now I am responsible for managing the 4C audit activity of CAFECONTROL. Over the years, I also contributed to the revision of the 4C Code of Conduct as well as other 4C regulations. 4C has implemented a lot of improvements, including the introduction of innovative tools, facilitating the application for the stakeholders. 4C is a global sustainable coffee production initiative that is recognized and supported by many stakeholders. The vision of 4C corresponds to the current market tendency, especially after the Covid-19 outbreak. That is: ensuring the sustainability of the supply chain and auditing based on a comprehensive risk assessment and aspiring continuous improvement of the participating units.”

Vinh Le Hong, CAFECONTROL (Vietnam)

“4C TRAININGS AND WEBINARS HAVE BEEN OF GREAT HELP in improving auditing skills, creating awareness on changes and updates in the 4C system. Although implementation can be challenging sometimes, as different Managing Entities might interpret same criteria and requirements in a different way, we see how 4C is confronting this and other challenges and improving over time by developing certification guidelines that are in line with specific checkpoints and criteria and adjusting audit checklist for different actors within the 4C unit. The portal system approach has made the entire audit process from request to reporting more efficient. AfriCert would recommend 4C because it is a standard that different actors in the 4C Unit can implement with ease since there are clarifications for compliance.”

Margaret Wanjiku, AfriCert (Kenya)

“IN SDS, I have been working with 4C since 2012. What I saw so far is that the system is being continuously improved over time. One of the most essential developments was the 4C portal: It has been very helpful for the 4C System users as it has enabled both the certification bodies and members of the 4C Units to do an analysis of the Business Partner Map. Now, 4C is not an entry-level program anymore, it has become a strong and modern certification scheme, well accepted in the coffee sector.”

Fauzi Kuswantoro, SDS (Indonesia)

“4C STRIVES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLES and continuous improvement of each certified group, although it can be challenging to implement improvements in the group as a whole. We appreciate active and accessible communication between 4C and auditors in Brazil on various matters, such as improving the understanding of the principles, additionally facilitated by the creation of the 4C portal and issuance of the newsletters. Apart from that, 4C improved the format of the audit check-list, breaking down the questions to have a better understanding of the principles, requirements and multiple indicators. We are pleased to cooperate with 4C as it is a coffee certification system that aims at the tripod of sustainability and allows mapping the challenges of groups, proposing improvements and actions that lead to good practices.”

Fernanda Aparecida Vieira de Carvalho,
WQS do Brasil Ltda (Brazil)

“SAVASSI CERTIFICADORA HAS BEEN WORKING with the 4C System since 2012. Despite various challenges faced in the beginning, such as misinterpretation of the 4C Code of Conduct requirements by business partners, we experienced rapid development and modernization of 4C in the last years. The sustainability requirements became stricter and comprehensive guidelines on their implementation were issued, complemented by regional trainings conducted by 4C. As an independent sustainability program, 4C offers recognition for producers who wish to certify and demonstrate their sustainability efforts, as well as safety and responsibility for consumers who are looking for sustainably produced coffee.”

Ronaldo A. Dantas Silva, Savassi Certificação (Brazil)

NGOs and research bodies

BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION IS ESSENTIAL for agriculture and the future of coffee cultivation. 4C Code of Conduct includes effective biodiversity criteria, such as a requirement of an action plan to protect and restore high biodiversity areas, natural vegetation, fauna, soil and water sources, and sensitive areas. Coffee farmers need support to comply with these criteria and implement an action plan of good quality. With the support of environmental NGOs, 4C offers training on biodiversity which proved to be highly demanded. Furthermore, a Biodiversity Performance Tool Coffee is in preparation to support farmers in the elaboration of their action plans. With these activities, the 4C standard creates acceptance and capacities – both are necessary to finally make progress towards the goal of halting the loss of biodiversity.”

Marion Hammerl,
President of Global Nature Fund and Managing Director of Lake Constance Foundation

PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS ARE NEEDED on the pathway to SDG 2 “Zero Hunger. 4C in combination with the Food Security Standard (FSS) offers a practice-proven approach to identify the causes of food insecurity and to implement targeted measures. This makes 4C the first coffee standard that explicitly addresses the Human Right to Food. This is an important step towards the future where food insecurity among coffee farmers and workers doesn’t exist.”

Dr. Rafaël Schneider, Deputy Director Policy and External Relations and Coordinator Food Security Standard (FSS), Welthungerhilfe

AS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORTof companies, governments, organizations, and institutions, conceived and facilitated by Conservation International, the Sustainable Coffee Challenge aims to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product. By working to align the sector around this common vision, increase transparency, and accelerate progress on collective and individual goals and targets, the Challenge aims at stimulating greater demand for coffee sustainability worldwide. We are pleased that 4C has joined our movement and will be supporting the Challenge’s agenda by committing to increase deforestation-free and biodiversity protected coffee supply chains through its 4C coffee certification system.”

Niels Haak,
Conservation International

“UP-TO-DATE, RELEVANT, AND USEFUL elements for the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity in the context of coffee cultivation and processing are crucial to face the future. Through the online trainings, 4C introduced the concept of biodiversity and provided practical guidelines and tips for the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs), such as the Biodiversity Performance Tool (BPT), to coffee producers in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Additionally, the trainings presented examples of good agricultural practices addressing climate change adaptation, fertilization and pesticides management, as well as water management. We anticipate that the 4C System users will put all this information into practice, implementing BPA’s and, thus, getting closer to environmentally responsible coffee production.”

Alejandro Lozano and Felipe Valderrama,
Landscape and Water Management team, Fundación Humedales

“ADC, Agriculture and Forestry Research & Development Centre for Mountainous Region, is one of the leading research and development centers under Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. Thanks to our partnership with 4C, we could pilot the implementation of the Biodiversity Performance Tool in Gia Lai Province, Vietnam. We believe that this user-friendly tool is highly relevant for the Vietnamese producers and increasing their capacity to protect and monitor biodiversity on their farms. ADC is very keen to further cooperate with 4C and its partners to develop and implement impact-driven projects in the areas of agriculture, forestry and rural development in Southeast Asia.”

Prof. Dr. Tran Van Dien, Director, and Dr. Ho Ngoc Son, Deputy Director, ADC

“We appreciate the effort of 4C to improve the working and living conditions of coffee smallholders in Colombia and to consider the views of relevant project stakeholders and potential beneficiaries in the development of the project. We were happy to be able to contribute to this process via the multistakeholder workshop organized by 4C.”

Ana María González – Dirección, CRECE

“As an international research and development organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger while protecting natural resources in developing countries, we highly value 4C’s commitment to evidence-based decision making within the coffee sector. Through a rigorous and participatory approach, the DeveloPPP project, led by KFW, 4C and Melitta, is bringing key stakeholders and the scientific community together to identify priorities and develop tailor-made solutions for achieving a more sustainable and climate-smart development trajectory within the Colombian coffee sector. The project emphasizes the human and environmental priorities of the sector as well as the early involvement of local stakeholders in planning and decision making, increasing the potential impacts and local uptake of the project, reducing duplication of efforts and fostering synergies with other initiatives.  We are happy to be collaborating with 4C in working towards the SDGs.”

Andrés Charry, The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Interested in joining the 4C certification? Ready to source sustainable coffee? Or you are already using the 4C System and would like to share your own inspiring story?

Please contact us via info@4c-services.org.