TCC announces its closing

September 21, 2011 - Dear Partners and Friends of the Tropical Commodity Coalition

 

The Tropical Commodity Coalition (TCC) has always combined the strengths of numerous civil society organisations to promote sustainability in the coffee, cocoa and tea sectors. Established in 2002 as the Coffee Coalition, the TCC is currently a recognised player. We are pleased to feel that the Coalition is respected amongst international organisations and industry as a neutral entity.

 

When the Coalition was established, sustainability in coffee, cocoa and tea was barely on the agenda of the big multi-nationals. On the contrary, many industry players rejected the program of civil society organisations to improve the living conditions of small scale producers and agricultural workers in the sectors.

 

Today in 2011 the tide has turned: sustainability is taken seriously throughout the industry, NGOs and multi-nationals work together in consuming and producing countries. Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified and Organic have become household brands. Logos of these standards are found on countless coffee packs, chocolate bars and tea bags. The sustainability movement has reached a tipping point and seems to have reached its own momentum.


Throughout the years, the TCC has been central in advocating sustainable sourcing by industry. The TCC has organised campaigns, multi-stakeholder seminars and published ground breaking documents to keep the debate alive, dynamic and, above all, relevant. Its members Hivos, Oxfam Novib, Solidaridad, FNV Bondgenoten, Fairfood International, Stop the Traffik, GoedeWaar.nl, SOMO, Landelijke India Werkgroep, Oikos, CNV Vakmensen and Both Ends constructively worked together and showed strong commitment towards a common goal.

 

It is, therefore, with great pride and satisfaction to ascertain that, to a great extent, the goals of the coalition have been reached. We are grateful to all of those that have helped in making this happen .With many goals reached, time has come to re-establish our commitments. Although there is clear reason to continue certain work areas of TCC, we also have to face the reality of diminishing funds and other priorities of some members. Especially since we increasingly feel respected in our role, it is therefore with regret that the current phase of the Tropical Commodity Coalition is to be concluded.

 

Many challenges remain and constant vigilance must be maintained to warrant that plans set into action will bring improvement for small scale producers and their environment. The individual TCC members will continue in their efforts to confront the complex issues. In the coming months, the Coalition will hand over its responsibilities and tasks to its members and other organisations. On a European level the VOICE network, unifying the majority of current TCC members with numerous other European NGOs, will be a driving force towards a sustainable cocoa economy in the European context.

 

Our partners will be informed of the details of the handing over process in order to maintain relevant working processes and contacts within the sector. Until the final closing date, the TCC will remain fully operational: service oriented and available for consultation. The formal closing date of the Tropical Commodity Coalition is January 31st, 2012. A final closing hand-over and networking event will be announced to which all partners will be cordially invited.

 

Warmest regards,

Frank Mechielsen

Chairman of the Tropical Commodity Coalition