No 28

Transparency and Accuracy of Colombian Coffee Statistics are Recognized

August, 2016

Analysis

Transparency and Accuracy of Colombian Coffee Statistics are Recognized

Both markets and the Colombian statistics agency recognize accuracy and transparency in preparation and reporting of statistics on Colombian coffee production and exports by the FNC.


Transparency and accuracy with which the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) consolidates and reports statistics about Café de Colombia production and exports month after month are an important added value not only for producers and customers, but for the global industry and markets.

For producers, this information helps them forecast the international coffee price depending on availability and compare their own productivity with national averages; and for customers and markets, it helps them have a greater clarity on Colombian coffee availability.

“In Colombia, the FNC’s work helps tremendously with statistics. It is an institution that continually supports producers, encouraging, for instance, crop renovation initiatives. The FNC contributes to make data a better-quality universe by having more accurate statistics,” says the Brazilian expert Rodrigo Costa, Director of Commodities at Société Général Corporate Banking and Investment, headquartered in New York City.

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Costa visited Colombia this year to give a lecture on the world coffee market at the FNC head office in Bogota.

In Colombia, the FNC compiles information on coffee production and exports, including figures reported by other exporters. Additionally, the Coffee Information System (Sica) is a powerful tool, unique in its kind, to update, consolidate and monitor geo-referenced information about Colombian coffee farming.

The expert noted that, when it comes to reporting statistics, Brazil faces the double challenge of having very extensive coffee plantations and lacking an institution that compiles information, such as the former Brazilian Coffee Institute (IBC).

“They don’t necessarily have enough budget and people to visit the farms and verify production in detail, the margins of error are higher. At the time of the IBC, there were more accurate statistics,” Costa noted.

The expert also acknowledged that in Colombia, a country producing fresh coffee all year round, a culture of accumulating inventories is not common. In addition, he recognized the high-quality standards of Colombia to store coffee, which help preserve it in good conditions for longer.

For Colombian producers, clear and reliable statistics are very helpful to measure their own productivity, the expert pointed out. “The more they know, the more equipped they are to make decisions, especially in productivity matters, rather than domestic production,” he added.

This work by the FNC to record and report coffee production and export statistics deserved this year a new recognition by the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), which re-certified the monthly coffee export record with the highest grade. This certification confirms the credibility, reliability and transparency of the monthly figures reported by the FNC.

This task is carried out by the FNC in accordance with the National Coffee Fund (FoNC) management contract recently signed with the Colombian Government and which has operated, with some modifications, since 1940.

The statistics have enabled the country to know in a transparent, timely and accurate way not only coffee exports, but to determine coffee policy measures, such as export coffee quality standards, collection of the coffee contribution and transfer of the best basic price to producers.

 

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