BOGOTA, Colombia – The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) are working together to adapt labor regulations, particularly in terms of occupational safety and health, to the realities of the Colombian coffee sector.
Responding to concerns presented by coffee growers themselves, this joint action seeks to contribute to the redefinition of specific minimum criteria for the coffee sector, taking into account the specificities that characterize the rural context of coffee growing families.
An example of such specificities is the key role that children and teenagers have in intergenerational family knowledge exchange.
On November 16 and 17, an ILO delegation visited the municipality of Chinchiná, Caldas to evaluate compliance with the principles of occupational health and safety and acquire firsthand knowledge on the work involved in coffee production.
The delegation visited two large-scale coffee growing farms and three small-scale farms. In the latter, ILO representatives toured the post-harvest and drying facilities and asked coffee growers about training and advising responsibilities, the coffee growing process and the risks and prevention mechanisms involved in each task.
In the large-scale farms, the delegation inquired about the work of employees, the use of machinery and equipment in each production stage, the safety of the equipment used, the signaling of danger zones and the identification of risks, and the degree of internalization of occupational health and safety principles.
It also inquired about good treatment, fair payment, conditions of dormitories, child labor, and the management of records and traceability.
All this information will help the ILO to have a more complete picture of the reality on the ground of the Colombian coffee sector.
Hopefully, it will lead to occupational health and safety labor regulations that are more in tune with the specific needs of Colombian coffee producers.
It will contribute to achieving a differentiated redefinition of labor legislation in Colombia, where the FNC will continue to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Labor.