BOGOTÁ, Colombia – “We don’t want charity, we want profitability”: this is the strong call that the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) CEO, Germán Bahamón, made at the 14th Coffee Forum and Dinner of the Swiss Coffee Trade Association: the organization representing Swiss companies as buyers of over 50% of green coffee in the world, and where Colombia was a special guest of the world meeting.
The event took place on September 21 and 22 at the Congress Center in Basel.
Bahamón said that he was not going to sell Colombian regrets and that, on the contrary, he went to announce that Colombian coffee growers want to be partners in the value chain to create wealth in our country, jobs, and work for Colombia’s industrialization.
“We are also going to train young people in agronomy, cup tasting, as baristas or roasters, and develop the cup experience, which in the end means a demand generation strategy that will benefit everyone,” Bahamón added.
The FNC CEO did not miss the opportunity to express his position about developed countries’ requirement on the 548,000 Colombian coffee grower families (mostly holding no more than 1.5 hectares each), who, by world standards and to export coffee, must stop using pesticides, some fertilizers, and take care of the environment, when actually, Bahamón noted, “we coffee growers are who are putting special care in cultivating and maintaining 2.7 billion trees that capture the pollution generated by someone else in developed countries.”
Bahamón was emphatic in highlighting that Colombia will continue building the best and most admired brand in the global coffee industry (Café de Colombia): “This is the only way to ensure economic progress, business sustainability, and social development.”
He also sent a message to the world’s largest buyers on the industrialization that Colombia needs: “What will happen to the industries of Germany, Switzerland and Italy if coffee workers grow old?”
“Do you think that young people will work in the countryside without wi-fi, without roads, without education, without housing, without security?” he asked.