The 4C Association aims to unite all relevant coffee stakeholders in working towards the improvement of the economic, social and environmental conditions of coffee production and processing to build a thriving, sustainable sector for generations to come. The 4C Association (Common Code for the Coffee Community) sets, maintains and operates the 4C Code of Conduct, an entry-level standard that defines a global common baseline and starts all coffee supply chain actors on the path to the sustainable production, processing, and trade of coffee. This code is based on the following precepts:
- Coffee production can only be sustainable provided it provides decent living and working conditions for the farmers, their families and their employees. This concept encompasses respect for human rights and working standards as well as a decent quality of life.
- Protection of the environment, for example primary forests, and the conservation of natural resources such as water, soil, biodiversity and energy are essential components of the sustainable production of coffee and its processing after harvest.
- Economic viability is the basis of social and environmental sustainability. It must be accompanied by fair incomes for all the operators in the coffee chain, free access to markets and sustainable livelihoods.
This system considers that encouraging sustainability in the green coffee sector is a productive, competitive and efficient way of improving the economic conditions of the individuals working in coffee growing, post-harvest processing and the marketing of coffee.