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What do Geographical Indications mean for Colombian Coffee?

Since its creation in 1927, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC in Spanish) has looked for strategies that would allow differentiating Colombian Coffee as a consumer's worldwide reference. Through promotional and advertising campaigns Colombian Coffee was positioned as a product of origin and quality, recognized and desired. The Geographical Indications are also an element of particular importance to continue this strategy of differentiation, as they are an instrument of protection to prevent the unfair competition to Colombian Coffee growers and marketers and a legally binding element of guarantee of origin before consumers.

Only a limited number of products from various countries and regions in the world are recognized due to its quality and reputation. An even smaller number has been recognized in its country of origin as a Denomination of Origin or a Protected Geographical Indication. Only an exclusive club of products, such as the Tequila, the Rioja Wine, the Darjeeling Tea, the Parma Ham or the Roquefort Cheese, have achieved this type of recognition in countries different from their origin, thus demonstrating that their quality and reputation are internationally recognized and obey not only to their geographic origin but to the institutional strength that allows supporting the products in world markets.

In this context, Colombian Coffee has built and demonstrated a product quality system, which starts from the approval and evaluation of coffee varieties used, and follows up with the producers’ assessment and the quality analysis of the product at different stages. Only a limited number of coffee origins have been recognized as Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Colombian Coffee is the only coffee that has reached these recognitions not only in its home country, but in 30 additional countries, not including those where it is protected as a Certification Mark.

The seals associated with Geographical Indications allow communicating to consumers and to socially responsible businesses, the alliance between their brands and more than 563.000 Colombian Coffee growers, the people of coffee, through the entity who legitimately represents them, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC).  Besides, these seals also provide an opportunity to differentiate the brands that carry them, adding value with the unique and identifiable characteristics of authenticity that conventional and generic products can not demonstrate. This means that Colombian Coffee is produced with special standards of quality and produced in a special land with such environmental and social conditions, that it can be considered as a unique product in the world.

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