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Colombia signs the International Coffee Agreement 2022

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia – On behalf of Colombia and the country’s over 540,000 coffee grower families, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) CEO, Roberto Vélez, signed on October 7, 2022, the International Coffee Agreement 2022 in Bogotá. The ceremony took place with Colombia’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit, José Antonio Ocampo, as a witness, and was presided over by Iván Romero-Martínez, president of the International Coffee Council (ICC, the organization’s highest authority), and the executive director of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), Vanusia Nogueira.

The new agreement strengthens the ICO with a more active and committed participation of private actors, with a view to achieving a more sustainable global industry for the entire chain, starting with producers.

“The objective of the agreement is to find new ways for the conditions of the coffee sector worldwide to improve and provide a livelihood for millions of people around the world,” Romero-Martínez said.

The Honduran executive explained that, without losing the ICO’s intergovernmental character, private actors in the coffee supply chain will have a more active role, including the public-private operating group to work together in favor of the industry’s sustainability, where coffee growers are the first link.

In his speech, Ocampo highlighted that the agreement formally welcomes to the table, for the first time in 60 years, the world’s largest private coffee marketers, roasters, and manufacturers, along with coffee farmers and their Governments.

In addition, he called on the Government of the USA, the largest coffee consumer, “to reconsider the decision it took in 2017 to withdraw from the ICO for re-entering this public-private dialogue forum aimed at overcoming poverty in rural areas of the world.”

The private sector advisory board will be transformed into the affiliate members’ board under a new institutional framework, bringing in non-governmental members for the first time since 1963, when the ICO was created under UN auspices.

The Bogotá 2022 agreement also redefines the internal system for calculating votes and the members’ contributions to better respond to transformations of the global coffee chain in the last 30 years, also for the benefit of the organization’s financial sustainability.

For the second time in the ICO’s history, Colombia hosted its annual meeting (134th). And on behalf of the Colombian coffee families, the FNC said it was honored not only to have been the host, but also to have substantially contributed to the signing of the new agreement.

“The signing of the International Coffee Agreement of Bogotá 2022 shall be the opportunity to work together for the sustainability and well-being of the coffee value chain,” Vélez said.

“Let’s do our best to support this new administration, to give life to this new agreement, in such a way that it becomes the tool that we all expect, of cooperation and collaboration of the entire coffee value chain. (…) In the end, the answer lies within each and every one of us,” he added.

After the meeting, the Minister of Finance and the FNC CEO toured the Cafés de Colombia Expo 2022, the most important specialty coffee fair in Latin America and the Caribbean, where they had the opportunity to talk with coffee growers from different regions of the country.

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