Code of ethics and conduct for coffee exporters members of Cecafé – Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council


CECAFÉ – Conselho dos Exportadores de Café do Brasil (Brazilian Coffee Exporters Council) plays a fundamental role representing the coffee export sector, one of the most important agroindustries for the Brazilian economy.

Aware of its responsibility towards the exporter class and the increasing relevance of issues related to sustainability and social welfare, CECAFÉ aims that ethical and moral principles are an integral part of the coffee export sector as a whole.

Considering the need for regulating ethical standards for decision-making in the coffee export trade, the members decide to approve the following Code of Ethics and Conduct to regulate the activity of export companies associated to CECAFÉ.



Art. 1– This Code of Ethics and Conduct applies to all CECAFÉ members that conform to the definition set forth on Chapter I, Title III of CECAFÉ Bylaws.



Art. 2– CECAFÉ´s Code of Ethics and Conduct aims to represent the interests of members and seek the economic, environmental and social feasibility of the coffee activity consistently with its values.


Chapter I

Statement of General Principles

Art. 3– Members truly believe in the need of sharing commercial objectives and specific ethical principles to consolidate and develop the coffee export sector.

Art. 4– CECAFÉ and its members respect and are aware of the local and international labor and environmental laws applicable to their operations.

Art. 5– Their actions should be always conducted based on integrity, trust and loyalty, as well as on the respect and value of the human being regarding privacy, individuality and dignity.

Art. 6– Any action indicating prejudice against origin, race, religion, social class, gender, color, age, disability or any other forms of discrimination will be rejected.

Art. 7– Members should commit to watch over the values and image of the business and maintain compatible behavior, in addition to acting in defense of their interests, and the society. The search for development should be based on those principles, believing that all actions are guided by the highest ethical standards and strict compliance with the Law.  

Art. 8- All members and their supply chains should respect the environment and social welfare should be part of their strategic and operational decision-making.

  • The printed or digital version of this Code should be communicated to their employees, business partners and suppliers. 

Art. 9– To support the achievement of those purposes, this Code states ethical values and conduct guidelines to which CECAFÉ members freely adhere and, consequently, commit to be fully aware of, complying with the items set forth in this document, and being also aware of their responsibility towards the society as a whole.

Art. 10– The CECAFÉ Committee on Ethics and Conduct should be immediately communicated about any issues that do not comply with this Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Chapter II

Commitment of Cecafé Members 

Art 11– Regarding employees, members commit to: 

  1. Not employing individuals younger than 16 years old in the company, except for junior apprentices older than 14 years old;
  2. Not employing individuals younger than 18 years old in the company for nocturnal, dangerous or unhealthy activities;
  3. Recognize the class actions of employees, whether in the form of unions or associations, respecting the associations and collective bargaining laws;
  4. Provide their employees and outsourced employees with fair wages and benefits that comply with the laws, regulations and collective agreements;
  5. Ensure the inexistence of any kind of work that is similar to slavery and/or child labor in their activities, according to the definitions set forth in the Brazilian Penal Code.  

Art. 12– Regarding the work environment, members commit to: 

  1. Offer a work environment based on courtesy and respect, promoting inclusion and rejecting any form of discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment, intimidation or threat;
  2. Provide a healthy and safe work environment, free from risks to the health and integrity of their employees that complies with all applicable local occupational health regulations and laws, as well as international conventions. They also commit to comply with updated regulations and laws of the Ministry of Labor and Employment with respect to the labor rights set forth in the local legislation;
  3. Act on the prevention of accidents, maintaining and encouraging the CIPA (Comissão Interna de Prevenção de AcidentesInternal Commission for Accident Prevention) training, when applicable;
  4. Encourage gender equality, employment of ethnic minorities, as well as people with disabilities and junior apprentices, in compliance with the local legislation on those matters.

 Art. 13– Regarding coffee suppliers, members commit to: 

  1. Require that all suppliers are ethically committed to work continuously to eliminate any kind of work that is analogous to slavery and/or child labor, according to the definitions set forth in the current legislation, in their activities and in the activities of their partners and/or members, also committing to end the relationship with organizations that have evidences of that kind of illegality in their business;
  2. Prioritize producers that adopt good agricultural practices to minimize negative impacts to the environment and use those methods as part of their planting methods;
  3. Have business relations only with partners that have evidences of complying with the current environmental legislation, and to discontinue the relationship in case the member becomes aware of irregularities that are not remedied by that business partner.

Art. 14– Regarding market practices and the interests of the sector, members commit to:

  1. Comply with all the local and international rules and laws which are applicable to their operations, including international agreements to which the countries are signatories;
  2. Comply with contractual obligations and requirements agreed upon during negotiations;
  3. Prioritize business with importers that comply with the rules and regulations of their countries, and act with moral and ethical standards in their commercial relationships;
  4. Use fair competition as the basic element in all operations and relationships with other companies in the market. Players should adopt professional, ethical and reputable behavior throughout their value chain. Competitiveness should be based on this principle;
  5. Avoid conflicts of interest;
  6. Have all coffee exported supported by certificates of origin;
  7. Ensure that there is no form of corruption, favoritism, extortion and bribery in their operations, in addition to not making use of insider information and/or coercion to influence decision-making. They also commit to reject the practice of actions that affect the image of the business or coffee industry as a whole;
  8. Promote the Brazilian coffee in the local and international markets;
  9. Encourage and support the development of coffee research, as well as projects that promote the Brazilian coffee. 

Art. 15–  Regarding the society, members commit to: 

  1. The principle that all coffee exporter members should observe good practices, standards and respect the welfare of children and youngsters;
  2. Participate and/or promote social responsibility actions together with CECAFÉ or individually, favoring the communities that depend on the coffee activity to a large extent.  

Art. 16– Regarding the environment, members commit to: 

  1. Adopt good practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the consumption of water, energy and natural resources in their operations;
  2. Adopt good practices for food safety to protect the health of the end consumer;
  3. Prioritize measures to prevent and mitigate environmental contingencies in their operations;
  4. Develop and implement a social and environmental responsibility policy duly documented and implemented.

Chapter III


Art. 17– CECAFÉ and its members recognize that, by committing to the items above, the company adopts these ethical, environmental, trade and human rights standards in its operations, as well as to use its best efforts to comply with those requirements that are still pending. 

Art. 18– CECAFÉ is willing to assist and support its members for the compliance with the items set forth in this document.

Final Provisions

Art. 19– This Code of Ethics and Conduct will become effective as of this date. 

São Paulo, November 30, 2016.