The Russian Federation has become the seventh importing member of the International Coffee Organization, the ICO announced earlier this week.
Russia joins the European Union, the United States, Norway, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey as ICO members under the International Coffee Agreement, last formalized in 2007.
The ICO was created by the United Nations with the first International Coffee Agreement in 1962. While the group no longer oversees export quotas designed to stabilize the market, it is nonetheless a leading source for current and historic market data, and a leading body for intergovernmental collaboration, including its annual Consultative Forum on Coffee Sector Finance.
With the Russian Federation signing on, ICO member governments now represent 95 percent of world coffee production and 78 percent of world consumption.
“The Russian Federation has been an official Observer of the ICO’s meetings for several years and I have personally been engaged in talks with senior officials regarding its accession,” ICO Executive Director Robério Oliveira Silva said in a prepared announcement. “As one of the top coffee consuming countries in the world, we believe the Russian Federation is well positioned to work with ICO Members on the promotion of the coffee sector worldwide and to tackle the challenges we face.”
According to the ICO, the Russian Federation consumed 4 million bags in 2014, with an average per capita consumption rate of 1.7kilograms. Since 2000, coffee consumption in the country has doubled, while growing at an estimated 3 percent annually over the past four years.