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Governance & Transparency

History and Development

The Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C) was created through a participatory, extensive, transparent and balanced consultation with coffee stakeholders worldwide, and was owned and operationalized by the former 4C Association.

Following a new strategy to separate the commercial certification related activities from its pre-competitive activities, the 4C Association in 2015 agreed to spin-off the previously in-house certification operations into a separate company. As of April 2016, the 4C Association evolved into the Global Coffee Platform which thereupon handed over responsibility to operate the 4C certification system to 4C Services. Since then, the team previously composing the Certification Department of the 4C Association operates as the core team of 4C Services GmbH under the leadership of Mr. Gustavo Bacchi as Managing Director.

Roles and Responsibilities

As the operator, 4C Services key task is the maintenance and integrity of the 4C Certification System, which mainly includes:

  • approval, management and training of certification bodies.
  • monitoring compliance of 4C Units with the 4C Code of Conduct and other certification requirements – including reviewing audit reports and taking certificate decisions.
  • monitoring data and reporting of final buyers and Managing Entities of 4C Units.

For 4C Certification, 4C Services collaborates with approved certification bodies operating in coffee producing countries that are ISO/ IEC 17065 (agricultural scope) accredited.

The roles and responsibilities of all stakeholder groups in the 4C Certification System are displayed schematically in the figure below and described in detail in the 4C Certification Regulation (see download section).

4C Services Advisory Board

Since 2017, 4C Services has an Advisory Board. Find more information here.

Further Information – Downloads and Links: