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SCA Mines the Coffee Industry’s Mindset On Value Distribution

coffee value distribution

Daily Coffee News photo by Nick Brown.

The Specialty Coffee Association has released the results of a pioneering survey on the topic of equitable value distribution in the coffee industry.

The findings will support a broader effort on behalf of the world’s largest coffee trade organization to reshape business mindsets and behaviors towards a more resilient and sustainable coffee industry.

The survey found that “the majority of respondents believe that value should be distributed differently than it currently is.” It also found that “many also believe supply-side actors — especially producers — receive a [dis]proportionally low share of coffee’s total value in comparison to the value they create.”

Additionally, the survey found that the majority of respondents (76%) said they were moderately or significantly familiar with the concept of equitable value distribution.

These findings and more will be explored at an upcoming webinar hosted by the SCA on Tuesday, March 26 (Zoom registration link).

coffee roaster

DCN file photo.

SCA Sustainability Director Andrés Montenegro told DCN that the survey findings — which came from a broad range of market participants in 2023 — also contrast with a number of prominent studies on supply chain economics in coffee.

Montenegro noted that problems such as unsustainably low coffee prices and price volatility have continued in the global coffee sector for decades, despite the apparent increased awareness on behalf of actors throughout the coffee value chain.

“We need to rethink how we are dealing with these issues,” Montenegro told DCN this week. “This will be an ongoing conversation. We’re not expecting something that has not been solved in four decades to be solved because we released this report.”

Instead, the SCA is pitching the report as a baseline against which to measure future activities regarding equitable value distribution in coffee, which is part of the group’s broader sustainability agenda stemming from its price crisis response initiative, launched in 2018.

“For us, this is just the beginning of a long-lasting conversation on the subject,” Montegenro told DCN. “How we can transform the business architecture, the market architecture, of the coffee industry or of food systems so that when we talk about a thriving coffee sector, everyone is thriving?”

Find more information and a link to the survey findings here.

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