BOGOTA, Colombia – Café de Colombia aims at being 100% sustainable by 2027, when the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) will become a centenary institution.
The initiative arises in response to falling premiums for sustainable coffee due to an increase of supply and seeks to take advantage of the differentiating attributes and values of Colombian coffee as a way to improve producers’ income.
The institutional efforts so far have enable to have 212,000 coffee farms complying with a sustainability standard, accounting for over 165,000 coffee farmers (30% of the total) on 396,000 hectares (42% of the total).
“We are going to adopt much of what we have today and have implemented in the last 15 years on sustainability. We have the institutional basis to carry this out in the next 10 years,” said the FNC Chief Commercial Officer, Felipe Robayo, in the 83rd National Congress of Coffee Growers.
The strategy until now has been identifying regional features that make it easier to meet requirements of the different sustainability standards, supporting producers via the Extension Service for adoption of good practices, and accompanying compliance audits for farms to be certified and/or verified.
It is no coincidence that the FNC is already managing the largest sustainability programs in the world for 4C and Nespresso. “We are a leader in that worldwide,” Robayo noted.
The definition of an own sustainability standard for Café de Colombia, which must be credible, innovative, reliable and voluntary, will include the highly democratic and participatory nature of Colombian coffee institutions, something very valued in the country and abroad.
Public goods and services that benefit the whole of producers, such as the purchase guarantee (a form of transparent and fair trade), scientific and technological research, and technical assistance by the Extension Service are competitive advantages in the industry and differentiating values that contribute to sustainability of Colombian coffee farming, something that the own standard of Café de Colombia being defined will also take into account.
Café de Colombia is already a synonym of quality in the industry, but thanks to its redefined strategy it aims to achieve a 100%-sustainable coffee farming.
100%-Sustainable Café de Colombia will be a code of conduct enabling to show stakeholders (customers, industry, buyers, Governments, academia, etc.) that the processes and products verified under this scheme meet the principles of sustainability.