By Olamide Tejuoso
The capital and largest city of Rwanda, Kigali has played host to the third world coffee producers. The 2023 edition, which is the third gathering since its inception, is unique being the first in-person format since the 2019 edition held in Campinas, Brazil.
According to Juan Esteban Orduz, the Chair of the World Coffee Producers Forum, the dialogue was necessary for the coffee value chain to work together under the principles of co-responsibility and solidarity in order to ensure sustainable coffee production, the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and farmers’ prosperity.
The forum also addressed the major challenge limiting coffee producers, which is centered around poverty. Some of the speakers at the event included Juan Esteban Orduz, WCPF Chairperson; Jeffrey Sachs, Economist and Author; Claude Bizimana, CEO of the National Agricultural Export Development Board NAEB of Rwanda; Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda; Roberto Vélez Vallejo, CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC); Jamie Coats, CEO of Wise Responder and Co-Founder of SOPHIA Oxford; and Vanusia Nogueira, Executive Director of the International Coffee Organisation.
At the occasion, Hon. Mukeshimana had urged all stakeholders in the coffee industry to ensure decent living for millions of coffee farmers worldwide.
“The sustainability of the coffee industry does require that coffee producers and those at the bottom level enjoy shared prosperity”, she added.
WCPF was established in 2017 to bring together coffee producers from all over the world and to offer a unique setting for them to come together and talk about important issues that affect growers on a global scale, such as sustainability, climate change, the environment, and prosperity.
The forum typically gathers wide media coverage and international attention, as well as visits of hundreds of participants from around the world.