The Common Code for the Coffee Community Association, also known as 4C, stands for a common code that aims to sustainably improve the treatment of people and nature in coffee production. This non-profit initiative, launched by the German Coffee Association and the German Society for Technical Cooperation, is particularly committed to improving working conditions and environmental standards.
The 4C Association is an association of coffee traders, producers from Central and South America and Africa, and committed individuals. Members are committed to actively combating unacceptable production methods, such as forced and child labor, human trafficking, evictions, deforestation and the use of banned chemicals. The goal is to make the manufacturing process socially acceptable and environmentally friendly.
The 4C Association vets new members and supports them in implementing the established requirements. Compliance with the standards is verified by independent bodies to ensure that producers not only comply with the rules, but also drive continuous improvement. It not only strives for better working conditions, but also attaches importance to environmental protection. Members strive to minimize the impact of coffee production on ecosystems and promote sustainable agriculture. The aim is to secure coffee cultivation in the long term and improve the livelihood of coffee farmers.
Unlike many other certifications, the 4C does not award an official seal of approval. Therefore, one cannot tell at first glance whether a product has been produced according to the 4C standards. Nevertheless, each member is free to put appropriate indications on the products. It is the consumers' responsibility to inform themselves about the production conditions and to make conscious purchasing decisions.