Launch of the new version of the 4C Gender Equality Add-On System Document

In response to valuable feedback received from stakeholders during the public consultation period from January to April 2023, 4C has undertaken a comprehensive review of its Gender Equality (GE) Add-On, making significant updates to enhance its practical application and relevance in diverse contexts.

The feedback, primarily received from Certification Bodies (CBs) conducting initial audits and Managing Entities (ME) undergoing GE certification of groups of farmers, as well as other interested parties, highlighted crucial aspects related to the application, local conditions, and the clarity of normative documents, particularly within the Colombian context.

The new version of the 4C Gender Equality Add-On System Document V 1.1. will be valid from 1.1.2024.

Key Changes Made:

Feedback Obtained: Changes Made:
4C Glossary: Definition lacking for GE-specific terms, e.g., immediate family members. Added GE Add-On relevant terms to improve clarity.
4C GE Checklist:


Insecurities regarding when certain checkpoints can be considered non applicable (marked as N/A) and uncertainties in interpreting specific checkpoints.


Provided additional explanations in the verification guidance. Optimized wording of checkpoints to address all target groups, including women, men, boys, and girls.


Difficulties in collecting and maintaining disaggregated data; challenges in systematically analyzing the collected data.


Adjusted the tabs in the BPM that are designated to collect disaggregated data. Adjustments were made in the purpose of improving user-friendliness, organization and clarity of data. Additionally, the analysis conducted via the BPM upload and analysis tool was extended to display the disaggregated data in a useful way.
4C Gender Equality Add-On Regulations:


Questions on the term “Gender Equality” versus “Gender Equity”; uncertainties about handling the Improvement Plan (IP) for core certification and IP_GE; uncertainties about specific terms and monitoring of IP_GE. Added further term definitions and explanations how to fill in the BPM_GE. Details on the particularities of the IP_GE were added, as well as further explanations on how to define the risk level for GE audits.


Newly Developed: Guidance Document for Auditors on Vulnerable Groups:


Need for additional guidance on how data obtained from the BPM_GE feeds into the risk assessment for GE audits.


Developed a dedicated guidance document with guiding questions to assist auditors through the process, emphasizing a holistic approach to assessing vulnerable groups

These revisions and additions underscore 4C’s commitment to continuous improvement, ensuring that the GE Add-On is established as a robust and adaptable tool for promoting gender equality across diverse coffee production settings.

For further details or inquiries, we encourage you to reach out for clarification on the updated documents: