What is the ICO?

The International Coffee Organization, abbreviated ICO, is the most important international organization in the field of coffee trade. It was founded in London in 1963 under the patronage of the United Nations and has its origins in the already then extraordinarily great importance of coffee for international trade. Its member countries include importing nations such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The ICO currently consists of 48 members, including 40 exporting nations, 7 importing nations, and one importing community - the European Union. Within the framework of the organization, six International Coffee Agreements (ICAs) have been concluded between members to date.

The ICO's mission is to bring together governments of coffee-producing and exporting countries with those who import and consume coffee. This is to improve cooperation among these nations and better address the challenges of international trade. In addition, the ICO strives to strengthen and develop the global coffee sector. It promotes sustainable coffee cultivation to reduce poverty in developing countries. To this end, the ICO advocates, among other things, greater market transparency and promotes quality assurance. Dialogue between member countries is of great importance in this regard, in order to continuously exchange views on current trends and market conditions in the coffee trade. Another important aspect of the ICO's mission is to provide all members with sufficient economic, technical and scientific information about the international coffee sector.

To advance one of its central missions, the promotion of sustainable coffee cultivation and trade, the ICO strives above all to raise awareness of the importance of this issue. Through various projects, the organization focuses particularly on reducing poverty in coffee-producing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. To improve the living and working conditions of coffee farmers, the ICO supports various projects, including facilitating access to credit and improving risk management for coffee farmers. Another major concern that the ICO supports coffee farmers with is dealing with climate change. Through projects, the ICO communicates improved techniques to growers to minimize the impact of climate change on coffee production.

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