Today, the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) officially welcomed the UK as its newest individual importing Member. This took place at a virtual ceremony hosted by the ICO.
The United Kingdom has completed the process of accession to the ICO and became an independent Member from the 1 January 2021, having previously been represented in the organisation by the EU.
Food Minister Victoria Prentis joined the event and gave an opening speech, highlighting that this exciting event means the UK is now able to continue to work together with other Members to champion the global coffee sector. The Minister stressed that expanding the sector’s sustainability and ensuring that coffee markets are fair and transparent are of global importance, so that supply chains are sustainable and the global industry is strongly placed to develop and grow in line with consumer tastes and preferences.
Food Minister Victoria Prentis also said:
“Here in the UK, we drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day, and the coffee industry creates a multitude of jobs throughout the supply chain.
“I am pleased to mark the UK officially joining the ICO as an individual importing Member. This exciting event means that we will be able to continue to work together with other Members, to champion the global coffee sector and to ensure its sustainability.”
ICO Members currently account for 97% of world coffee production and export and over two-thirds of coffee imports. This beverage is one of the most popular drinks across the world, with over two billion cups consumed every day.
Alongside the ICO, on 1st January 2021, the UK also joined the International Sugar Organization (ISO) and the International Grains Council (IGC), having previously been represented in the organisations by the EU.
This means that the UK will also be able to continue to work together in these sectors with other Members to champion the global commodity sectors.
Through the membership in the IGC, the UK will contribute to the international cooperation in all aspects of trade in grains, promoting the expansion of international trade and securing the freest possible flow of trade in grains. The ISO will enable us to continue to work with our international partners on all issues surrounding sugar matters.
The UK has now also now re-joined the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) after an absence of approximately 16 years. This will give the UK influence over international decisions on wine practices, processes and maintained credibility in the international trade in wine. As one of the largest wine markets in the world, we will be able to continue to further international cooperation on all aspects of trade in, and production of, wine, wine-based beverages, grapes, raisins and other vine products.