Our work contributes to achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and global inflation have been counteracting the UN's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 No Poverty to eradicate extreme poverty for all people by 2030. Extreme poverty is currently measured by the UN in the context of this goal as living on less than $1.25 a day. ICP contributes to the goal of No Poverty by supporting smallholder coffee farming families in increasing the profitability of their farms and achieving a higher income. Farmers in the ICP projects have therefore better chances to escape poverty. The better revenues enable them to invest in their farm and family, for example in education or health care.
Around 800 Mio people worldwide suffer from hunger. SDG 2 Zero Hunger includes ending hunger by 2030 and ensuring that all people have access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food all year round. ICP projects foster sustainable and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and diversified crop cultivation. This increases food availability and food security through a more efficient and higher agricultural production on the one hand. Diversification favors the production of food crops next to cash crops which ensures food security especially in times of crises.
SDG 4 Quality Education is for every child to receive a completely free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education. Our work supports the education of children in smallholder families as a higher income allows their parents to pay for school fees. But it is not only about finances: Gender equality within families is a factor that reinforces this effect. UNICEF for example has found that helping improve the lives of women also promotes the well-being of children and families. This is because empowered women are better able to influence household decisions on the children's education among others.
This leads us straight to SDG 5 Gender Equality. The United Nations state that gender equality is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. It also forms part of all components of our approach: Family Businesses, Farmer Organizations, Climate Change, and Youth. Couples participate in trainings gaining awareness of traditional gender roles and imbalances. This leads to shared rights, tasks, and responsibilities, empowering women to participate in decision-taking and giving them time to improve their professional skills. Also, it has been demonstrated that improved gender equality in coffee farming households translates into economic profitability, better family livelihoods, and strengthens the households’ resilience to climate or market shocks.
SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth is to attain inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. The United Nations specify that higher levels of economic productivity shall be achieved through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, as well as decent job creation and entrepreneurship. We are promoting these instruments in all our projects: Farming families are encouraged to not only rely on coffee as a cash crop but diversify their income. We support entrepreneurship and especially youth and women in forming their own businesses. Innovations and technologies help making farming more efficient, productive, and sustainable.
After the COVID-19 pandemic had even increased inequalities and income disparities, it is more than ever important to leave no one behind. We contribute to SDG 9 Reduced Inequalities by counteracting inequality within and among countries. One aspect is the increasing prosperity of farming families and the improving income and livelihood. Another is the formation and development of farmer organizations that strengthen their members' position in the supply chain and the international market.
SDG 12 Climate Action aims at strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries. The goal also includes the improvement of education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and impact reduction. ICP has formed the initiative for coffee&climate (c&c) already in 2010 to react to this crucial topic. Here, we connect all aspects of coffee farming communities to create a viable, climate-smart future of the whole sector: From climate-smart agriculture to climate smart coffee regions, to carbon offsetting, to handling of agrochemicals, to relevant issues of integrating youth, supporting gender equality, and knowledge transfer.
Protecting and restoring terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, and stopping biodiversity loss are summed up in SDG 15 Life on Land. Adequate treatment of natural resources, like soil, water, and biodiversity, is an important element of our holistic concept. With c&c, for example, we promote agroforestry systems which counteract deforestation, enhance biodiversity and encourage closed nutrient cycles.
The UN emphasize that the 2030 Agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society. The Sustainable Development Goals can only be realized with a strong commitment to global partnership and cooperation. This is formulated by SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals and we are convinced of its importance. This is why ICP was formed more than 20 years ago as a pre-competitive partnership of family-owned companies, cooperating with the organizations and the public sector. We openly share our experiences and lessons-learnt with partners and sector actors because this helps us all to utilize synergies and address the challenges in the regions more efficiently. We know, that this is the way to achieve a better future for the millions of smallholder coffee farming families worldwide.