Leveraging Multi-stakeholder Partnerships for Sustainable Coffee Development

On 7 September 2021, Grow Asia and the Coffee Taskforces and Working Groups of three of our Country Partnerships - the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Viet Nam (PSAV), the Partnership for Indonesia’s Sustainable Agriculture (PISAgro) and the Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (PPSA) - hosted a Regional Learning and Sharing Event on “Partnerships and Sustainable Development for the Coffee sector in Viet Nam, Indonesia and the Philippines". Watch the recording here.

Coffee throughout the world, including the Asia-Pacific region, supports millions of smallholder farmers and their families. With world coffee prices at their lowest levels for many years, the livelihoods of many small producers are under severe and constant pressure. Worse still, the sector is facing deep-rooted socio-economic and environmental challenges, linked to structural issues across the country, region, or entire sector, which needs to be considered and addressed through a multi-stakeholder approach as they are too big to be addressed by individual actors.

There is an opportunity to improve farm incomes through sustainable production of high value, high quality coffee. Thus, this Learning and Sharing has been organized at this critical time to derive partnerships and sustainable development to assist smallholder farmers and the coffee industry in the region with timely practical interventions. In fact, there are many ways and practices, which will make a difference to the quality of life of smallholder coffee producers, while ensuring that their farming systems and incomes are both improved and sustained.

The webinar convened over 130 interested partners from the private sector, multilateral organizations, NGOs, CSOs, roasters and traders, farmers’ organizations, and other coffee industry stakeholders, who were willing and eager to exchange their knowledge and experience. The webinar aimed to facilitate learning, knowledge sharing and exchange of practical experiences among coffee stakeholders among Country Partnerships of Grow Asia’s networks; reflect priority issues and common challenges in “partnerships and sustainable development” of the coffee sector; and explore potential linkages among coffee stakeholders in the three countries and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Participants listened to seven presentations from representatives from these three countries, each of which was followed by an interactive Q&A. Partners had the opportunity to exchange best practices and gain a better understanding of each other's success factors as well as future collaboration opportunities in promoting sustainable coffee development in the region.

“We recognize that many problems are complex, and may take years and the commitment of multiple stakeholders to resolve via collective action initiatives. But we are on the right path and committed to scaling up our efforts together with stakeholders towards achieving our 100% responsible sourcing of coffee by 2025,” said Mr. Do Ngoc Sy, JDE’s Sustainability Manager for Asia Pacific and PSAV’s Coffee Task Force Co-Lead.

Another notable speaker is Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), an active supporter of sustainable growth in Indonesia’s coffee industry. “Our work fosters in regenerating farmers and developing their ecosystem to be more sustainable,” said Rubens Marques, CEO of PT LDC Indonesia. “Working hand in hand with the public and private sectors in Indonesia, we are able to continue to focus our efforts in educating and training local coffee farmers by improving their productivity and livelihood through more sustainable practices.”

Mr. Fitrian Ardiansyah, Chairperson of the Sustainable Trade Initiative – IDH in Indonesia also mentioned the importance of public-private collaboration for Indonesia’s sustainability coffee sector. The Verified Sourcing Area (VSA) approach, developed by IDH and their partners, provides a direct link between the producing area to the end buyers, all the while prioritizing transparency throughout the value chain. This enables companies to have safe sourcing options. Furthermore, this process also drives more investment which leads to more incentives for the areas and farmers at scalable level to become more sustainable.

Ms. Ruth Novales, Nestlé Philippines Inc.’s Corporate Affairs Executive and the PPSA's Coffee Working Group Lead emphasized the multi-stakeholder approach to improve farmers’ income from increased yields and to provide inclusive growth, food security, and poverty alleviation. She confirmed “Nestlé is committed to helping farmers sustainably improve the quality and quantity of their coffee”.

Grow Asia and our Country Partnerships actively encourage and catalyze partnerships and experience sharing among private and public-sector partners, CSOs, research institutions, and farmers’ organizations to foster sustainable and inclusive development across agriculture value chains in the region.

If there are opportunities for collaboration you'd like to bring forward to us, do not hesitate to email the Grow Asia team at info@growasia.org or the leads for our Country Partnerships. The contact information for our leads in Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam can be found below.

  • Contact the Partnership for Indonesia’s Sustainable Agriculture (PISAgro) Executive Director, Insan Syafaat, at isyafaat@pisagro.org.
  • Contact Philippines Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (PPSA) Country Director, Amy Melissa Chua, at amy@ppsa-ph.org.
  • Contact the Grow Asia Representative in Viet Nam, Nguyen Chi Hieu, at hieu@growasia.org