Switzerland streamlines its engagement with the international commodity organisations

Bern, 28.09.2022 - On 23 September, the Federal Council approved the 2022 International Coffee and Cocoa Agreements and decided to withdraw from the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). It is focusing on sectors that are particularly important for Switzerland.

Switzerland has been a member of the International Coffee Agreement since 1964 and of the International Cocoa Agreement since 1972. The agreements aim to promote exchange and cooperation between consumer and producer countries. They had to be renegotiated because they are about to expire.

During the renegotiation, Switzerland advocated strengthening governance, sustainability and cooperation with the private sector in line with the priorities of its foreign economic policy. The future International Coffee and Cocoa Agreements should further contribute to the sustainable development of the global coffee and cocoa sectors. This is for the benefit of all players in the value chain. The signing of the new agreements enables Switzerland to represent its economic and development policy interests. 

The coffee and cocoa sectors are important for Switzerland. The import of both goods has roughly tripled in value over the last 30 years. Swiss companies are substantially involved in the international coffee trade and some Swiss coffee roasters play a leading economic role at international level. That is why around ten percent of the world's coffee export value is attributed to Switzerland. This makes Switzerland the world's second-largest coffee exporter after Brazil in terms of trade value. Swiss cocoa traders also play a leading role at the international level. With regard to development policy interests, Switzerland can promote sustainable production in coffee- and cocoa-producing developing countries.

The relevance of Swiss membership of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), on the other hand, has declined considerably over the past decades. Switzerland wants to focus on commodity organisations that are important to it, and has decided to withdraw from ICAC.

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