4C Certification · Certification Scopes

Join the 4C Certification Process - Step by Step

Certification Scopes

The 4C Code of Conduct applies to any type of producing entity around the globe and enables them to embark on their sustainability journey. The inclusive nature of the 4C Code of Conduct also aims to reach out to producers who are currently not participating in the market for sustainable coffee and bring them into compliance with a significant level of sustainability. The intention is to gradually raise the social, economic, and environmental conditions of coffee production and processing worldwide.

4C Unit

4C Unit is a green coffee producing group that includes any type of production and process facility and that produces a minimum of 20 tons of 4C certified green coffee per year.

It consists of a Managing Entity…

  • Managing Entity (ME) administrates the 4C Unit. Each 4C Unit is required to have a legally registered person, company, or organization who is responsible for the implementation of the Internal Management System and all other 4C requirements and the ensuring of compliance within the 4C Unit.
  • The ME is the holder of the 4C certificate and the only one allowed to sell the 4C certified coffee from its 4C Unit

… and Business Partners (BPs)

  • BP Producer is a legally registered person, company, or organization that manages the agricultural operation. 4C differentiates between big/medium BP Producer and smallholder BP Producer. A BP Producer is considered a smallholder if its workforce consists primarily of family and/or household labour or workforce exchange with other members of the community and whose coffee farm is normally not larger than five hectares.
  • BP Service Providers are traders, storage facilities, and processors operating withing the 4C Unit.

Intermediary Buyer (IB)

  • Trader, exporter, importer, processor, or any other entity which trades or originates 4C certified coffee outside the 4C Unit
  • IB must accept Terms of Use and register at the 4C portal
  • IB that would like to get 4C CoC* certified can do so on a voluntary basis

*CoC – Chain of Custody

Final Buyers (FB)

  • The last actor in the supply chain purchasing 4C certified coffee
  • It can either be a roaster, instant coffee manufacturer, private label company,
    retail company with private label, brand owner, coffee shop chain, or any other
    entity that is sourcing 4C certified coffee
  • Must comply with 4C Service Agreement
  • FB that would like to get 4C CoC certified can do so on a voluntary basis

*CoC – Chain of Custody

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