No 30

Café de Colombia bets on being 100% sustainable in 2027

December, 2016

WHAT'S BEHIND

Café de Colombia bets on being 100% sustainable in 2027

Although the goal is ambitious, Café de Colombia has significantly advanced to manage to be 100% sustainable in 2027, as the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) plans for its 100th anniversary.

The institutional effort so far has enabled to reach 212,000 coffee farms that comply with a sustainability standard, accounting for over 165,000 coffee farmers (30% of the total) on an area of 396,000 hectares or 42% of the cultivated area.

“We are going to adopt much of what we have today and have implemented in the last 15 years on sustainability. (…) We have the institutional basis to carry this out in the next 10 years,” said the FNC Chief Commercial Officer, Felipe Robayo, in the 83rd National Congress of Coffee Growers, their highest authority and deliberative body.

The strategy until now has been identifying regional features that make it easier to meet requirements of the different sustainability standards, supporting producers via the Extension Service for adoption of good practices, and accompanying compliance audits for the farms to be certified and/or verified.

It is no coincidence that the FNC is already managing the largest sustainability programs in the world for 4C and Nespresso. “We are a leader in that worldwide,” Robayo noted.

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The definition of an own sustainability standard for Café de Colombia, which must be credible, innovative, reliable and voluntary, will include the highly democratic and participatory nature of Colombian coffee institutions, something very valued in the country and abroad.

So in addition to the economic, social and environmental pillars, the institutional one will also be essential. “It is not only an issue of market, but of responsibility and empowerment of Colombian coffee farmers,” he said.

Public goods and services that benefit the whole of producers, such as the purchase guarantee (a form of transparent and fair trade), scientific and technological research, and technical assistance by the Extension Service are already competitive advantages in the industry and differentiating values that contribute to sustainability of Colombian coffee farming, something that the own standard of Café de Colombia being defined will also take into account.

Café de Colombia is already a synonym of quality in the industry, but thanks to its redefined strategy it aims to achieve a 100%-sustainable coffee farming, which will translate into higher income for producers.

“We want to focus on the coffee-growing family as a unit, what is their income, how the coffee situation affects them and if that makes them sustainable,” Robayo said.

100% Sustainable Café de Colombia will be a code of conduct enabling to show stakeholders (customers, industry, buyers, Governments, academia, etc.) that the processes and products verified under this scheme meet the principles of sustainability.

Its implementation will address integrated valuation of the socio-economic, institutional and environmental dimensions, verifying that the best practices are followed in all the coffee marketing chain, a valuation to be held in two stages: verification of the process at farm level and certification of the product with all actors of the value chain.

A sustainability standard is a set of principles, criteria and indicators that bet on social responsibility, natural resources care and economic sustainability through certification or verification of a process or product.

Many attributes and values make Café de Colombia a great partner of the 100% brands, but this new commitment to sustainability will enrich and strengthen their value proposition.

 


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