Grocery Gazette(21 st, April) – The government has signed the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) 2022 in a bid to strengthen the industry, which contributes billions of pounds to the UK economy each year.
Alongside an event organised by the UK’s representitive organisation of the coffee industry, the British Coffee Association (BCA), the signing took place at the ICO headquarters in London.
The RT Hon Mark Spencer MP, Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries signed the agreement yesterday (21 April), in the precense of the executive directors of the ICO and BCA, as well as key UK coffee industry representitives.
The ICO, which is the only intergovernmental organisation for coffee, brings together exporting and importing governments to tackle the challenges facing the coffee sector through international co-operation.
The 2022 agreement marks a shift in the way the ICO operates, giving a more prominent role to the private sector in its decision making process, alongside national governments.
“I’m honoured to sign the International Coffee Agreement on behalf of the UK,” Spencer said.
“We may be known for our tea, but we Brits drink almost 100 million cups of coffee every single day, worth around £5 billion per year to the economy, with the industry employing thousands of people around the country.
“This international treaty champions the industry globally, and I hope the UK can help continue its drive for new standards of sustainability for our coffee.”
BCA executive director, Paul Rooke said the signing demonstrates “a real commitment from the government to the future success” of the industry.
“Promoting consumer choice by maintaining a diverse range of coffee origins, while underpinning the need for a profitable income for producers, is an ambition which BCA works towards in close co-ordination with industry and other coffee associations.
“We see ICO, and this updated agreement, as key components of delivering that ambition, and look forward to working with Government Departments and colleagues at ICO to ensure the UK plays a central role in securing a positive future for coffee.”