No 33

‘Colombia must keep its global share as a coffee-producing country’

December, 2017

What's Happening

‘Colombia must keep its global share as a coffee-producing country’

• This requires raising productivity at levels of 21 coffee bags per hectare, said Roberto Vélez within the framework of the 85th National Coffee Growers Congress.


Manizales, December 5, 2017 (FNC Press Office) - Colombia must keep its share in global coffee production, which requires raising productivity at levels of 21 bags of coffee per hectare, said today the CEO of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), Roberto Vélez, within the framework of the 85th National Coffee Growers Congress.

This goal, he noted, is attainable as there are departments such as Antioquia, Caldas and Huila where productivity is already at these levels, which would require raising it in others of lower productivity. On average 18.7 bags are produced per hectare in the coffee country.

“Colombia’s coffee growers want to keep the share in global coffee production and exports. (...) I would see with sadness that in 10 or 15 years someone says we let ourselves lose the 12% and we are 8% or 5% of global coffee farming,” he said.

Velez Vallejo recalled that world coffee consumption grows about 2 million bags a year. “If one wants to be 12% of that new cake, one must produce between 2.5 or 3 million bags more, which would mean going from 14 to almost 17 million bags (per year) to 2030,” he noted.

“We must make an effort in the rest of the country to reach 21 bags per hectare. With three little bags more on average, there we have 2.7 million more bags without touching the coffee area, simply by raising productivity. (...) The challenge is to bring all Colombian coffee farming to the levels of the first producing departments,” he said.

In the same line, the CEO showed briefly some of the main advances in assisted harvesting tests to raise productivity, which in the case of canvas, by dropping the beans on the ground, increase between 80% and 100% the harvesting volumes.

Vélez recalled the great echo that, with events such as the first World Coffee Producers Forum, Colombia’s leading voice has had so that all the actors in the coffee chain are more co-responsible in improving income of the weakest link: producers.

“Today is Colombia which draws the attention of the 25 million families in the world saying ‘what do we do, where do we go, which is the way, who do we negotiate with?, let’s find answers,’ and we have done that as a country,” he said.

In environmental matters, the CEO revealed that more carbon dioxide is absorbed (4 million tons) than emitted (700,000 tons) by Colombian coffee farming, a positive balance of 3.3 million tons.

Advances in social security, education, infrastructure development, added value for coffee production (with record sales in Buencafé and visits to the Juan Valdez coffee store chain), communication to farmers (with new models such as ‘Let’s talk with the CEO,’ having face-to-face meetings with over 8,000 coffee growers), and growth of exports of small quantities were also presented by the CEO.

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