BOGOTA – Nearly 7,000 coffee growers have benefited from the 68 training seminars on internationalization organized by the alliance between ProColombia and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC).
According to Luis G. Muñoz, CEO of the FNC, “When accessing international markets directly, producers face the challenge of maintaining a reliable and differentiated product. Many were eligible for export, but did not have a sustainable business. This is why we took on the task of reaching all Colombian regions with these training sessions.”
Coffee growers – from the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Magdalena, Nariño, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander and Tolima – were not only trained on regulatory issues related to the use of origin denominations and trademark licenses, but also on how to face the challenges that every producer must consider when reaching the international market.
“High quality Colombian coffee has great opportunities in Norway, Iceland, Czech Republic, the Baltic States, Austria, Portugal, United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Uruguay. Its reputation, as well as the interest of certain groups of customers and markets to establish direct relationships with producers, also encouraged us to begin this partnership,” said Maria C. Lacouture, President of ProColombia.
Additionally, the FNC implemented an export logistics service. The service supports producers who are interested in engaging in direct business yet lack shipping infrastructure.
The beneficiaries of this alliance have also participated in business conferences, fairs and specialized exploratory missions. Some of the venues have been Macrorrueda in Bogota, Biofach in Germany, Gulfood Dubai, Foodex Japan, Sial Montreal, Seoul Food, Sial China, Cafe Show Seoul and ExpoEspeciales in Medellin. In the latter, 69 Colombian exporters met with 39 buyers from 15 different countries, generating business expectations for $10.8 million.
The agreement between the FNC and ProColombia foments the pursuit of opportunities in Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the United States, South Korea, Germany, Belgium, Japan and Turkey.In fact, between August 2010 and September 2014, 215 new business opportunities were consolidated between 42 companies and 148 buyers from 40 different countries.
It is expected that ProColombia and the FNC will sign a new agreement during the National Congress of Coffee Growers held in Bogota between December 3rd and December 5th. The new agreement will include the implementation of the International Mipyme Program, which consists of a ProColombia official working directly with companies to help them meet the requirements that enable them to export.
As a result of the joint efforts between the entities, 30 Colombian companies reported having business activities with 89 buyers from 38 countries (representing $23 million). According to Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), between January and September 2014, coffee and coffee derivative exports accounted for a total of $1,921 million. This represents an increase of 20.2% compared to the same period of the previous year.