Seeking Common Grounds
Oxfam's proposed reforms of the International Coffee Agreement
The International Coffee Agreement (ICA) establishes the only dedicated intergovernmental forum for coffee-related matters: the International Coffee Organization (ICO). The ICO brings together various stakeholders--including coffee importing and coffee-exporting countries, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)--to discuss, negotiate, and cooperate on shared strategies and policies regarding the global coffee economy.
The current ICA expires in September 2007. Negotiations regarding the next ICA are an excellent opportunity to implement policies to advance international cooperation on the development of a more sustainable, participatory, and equitable coffee supply chain. Oxfam urges reforms along three general themes:
- Enhancing participation by small-scale producers.
- Promoting sustainability.
- Providing tools for small-scale farmers to compete in challenging and changing markets.