TOKYO, Japon – The CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), Roberto Vélez, explained to key players in the Japanese coffee industry the critical international price situation that producers are facing, putting global supply at risk and consequently the entire chain.
Before the representatives of the All Japan Coffee Association (AJCA), which brings together the whole Japanese coffee industry; the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan (SCAJ), UCC, Key Coffee, Ogawa Coffee, Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Ajinomoto (AGF), Tokyo Allied, Itochu, MCAA and a group of small roasters that buy Emerald Mountain coffee (a brand of Colombian coffee growers), the FNC CEO insisted on the urgency of co-responsibility of the rest of the chain so that it is not broken by the weakest link, coffee growers.
On behalf of over 540,000 families dedicated to coffee growing in Colombia, Vélez warned of the serious situation that afflicts 25 million families in the world that make a living from coffee.
He also warned that if producers do not receive a price that allows them to cover their costs and obtain a decent return, they will stop growing coffee and this basic product will begin to be scarce, threatening sustainability of the whole chain, so it is better to prevent this from happening and ensure sustainability from now.
The FNC CEO recalled that in the last 27 months coffee prices have been falling systematically on the NY exchange, and according to statistics recently released by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), in March the bean reached its lowest level in the last 13 years.
Finally, Vélez reiterated the invitation to the industry to pay a fair price for coffee. “And then we will be able to assure that we are a responsible and sustainable chain along all its links, including the weakest: producers. The future of sustainability in coffee farming is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
The top representatives of the Japanese coffee industry were receptive to the critical panorama shown by Vélez, very much in tune with the leading role that this innovative, high-added-value market already plays for Colombian coffee.
Thanks to the FNC’s promotion and marketing work, Japan is the second destination country of Colombian coffee, only behind the USA. In that market, Colombia is also the second origin in value out of the total green coffee imports, with USD 204 million in 2018, only behind Brazil.
Japan is also a very dynamic market that leads the segment of canned and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages in convenience stores, and has become a strategic partner of Café de Colombia.