At the appointment of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), COSA has taken up the coordination and development of the work of a Technical Work Stream on Transparency. The Work Stream features a group of more than fifty expert collaborators from governments, companies, and NGOs around the world. The goal of the collaboration is to provide two vital new data streams that can enhance coffee sector livelihoods and better inform the industry: 

  1. Costs of Production that are consistently accurate and  comparable across countries and regions 
  2. How Efficiently Value is Distributed between the farmer and others in the supply chain. 

Today millions of coffee farmers worldwide have been affected in some way through governments, NGOs, and corporations who apply COSA metrics and tools for understanding the social, economic, and environmental factors that affect farmer and supply chain sustainability. The mandate for this transparency work originated with the creation of the Coffee Public-Private Task Force (CPPTF) on coffee price levels, volatility, and sustainability. 

The simplified theory of change, below, shows how working toward transparency in the sector can lead to better outcomes for stakeholders.



Transparency is the basis of greater sustainability in a number of ways. With reasonable transparency, we level the playing field of information and that can improve business efficiencies for both farmers, support organizations, and enterprises. That, in turn, will foster greater value and potentially more equitable sharing of value across the supply chain. 

The consistent, comparable, and accurate data that permits transparency is also the basis for an array of new advances from Blockchain to Living Income. Transparency is also clearly a public good that benefits not only individuals but also communities and businesses that will have access to valuable information, and to ensure that policymakers, roasters, and brands are better informed. It is, therefore, appropriate to state that accurate and transparent data is an underlying factor for many sustainable practices or initiatives to thrive.