Program Description

In this section you will find the essential elements of the 100 % Colombian Coffee Program. The Program not only offers a philosophical vision of an origin product, but also a structure of quality control,  permanent communication initiatives to consumers, and tools of coordination with world coffee brand owners. To get the confidence and the loyalty from customers and consumers, the Program has also developed a number of instruments to defend quality. In sum, the 100 % Colombian Coffee Program is a symbol of association and respect among growers, customers and consumers of Colombian Coffee.


Our Vision on the Importance of the Origin

We are convinced that the efforts to produce a product of superior quality need to be understood and recognized by customers and consumers. A blend of beans of different origins, disguises the true origin of the coffee to consumer's eyes. In the long run, this does not permit to compensate the significant effort to produce a high quality coffee in the land of coffee. It is because of this reason that we wish to highlight to the world that origin does matter and that clients, as well as consumers, have the right to know the true origin of the product they buy, not only from the point of view of its attributes but also from the point of view of the philosophy and values under which it was produced.  

The 100% Colombian Coffee Program tries to highlight these outstanding coffee attributes to sophisticated consumers. Colombian coffee is the result of the effort of more than 563.000 Colombian families that have built around their coffee a social network in a particularly rough and complex territory, the land of coffee. Together they have built instruments of guarantee of origin and authenticity that no other product can replicate. New marketing and promotion tools have been developed to benefit roasters and the brands that belong to the Program, as well as coffee growers. Using 100% Colombian Coffee all of them have been able to access new sales and distribution channels at higher prices which consumers are willing to pay. The consumers  of Colombian Coffee are satisfied not only by the taste and quality, but also by thiscoffee grower- inspired philosophy, that also allows true differentiation.

To achieve its goal, the 100 % Colombian Program has positioned Colombian Coffee and the Colombian Coffee Logo as a symbol of quality and commitment, of common values that have created a philosophy and a vision on the importance of origin as an element of differentiation, authenticity and dedication to the well being of consumers as well as coffee producers through Sustainability That Mattersprograms.

This work has allowed Colombian Coffee to reach substantial levels of consumer recognition, becoming a worldwide reference in coffee. This has not been an easy task. It is the result of an effort of more than 80 years by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation with the intention to tell world consumers why Colombian Coffee is different in every step, from the seed to the cup. This effort not only includes the task of product research and the support to more than 563.000 coffee growers` families , but the constant quality evaluation at different stages in the producer-consumer chain, including the quality analysis of branded products presented to consumers in different continents as Colombian Coffee.

Those customers and coffee brand owners willing to associate their brands and themselves with Colombian Coffee growers are able to highlight the importance of origin and the people of coffee effort to bring to world markets a product of superior quality. When their brands carry the Colombian Coffee Logo as a symbol of this commitment to quality and origin, they also demonstrate a union of interests and values, as well as a deep and mutual respect for both growers and brand owners’ joint efforts to bring that Colombian Coffee brand to market.

The Colombian Coffee logo always fulfills a co-branding - ingredient brand role, and can only be used under the terms of a Trademark License Agreement, under which Colombian Coffee growers through their Federation authorize the respective brand owner its use. When using the triangular Logo representing Juan Valdez® and his mule, roasters commit to submit themselves to the necessary quality controls, and are able to communicate to consumers and distributors the advantages associated with a product of superior quality.  

Product Quality Control

Since 1927 the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) started the work to provide a support system to guarantee the quality of the Colombian Coffee.  Starting in 1932, the first regulations on quality for Colombian Coffee exports were implemented, establishing minimum export standards. In this way coffee growers tried to make sure that coffee described as Colombian to importers, roasters and the consumers would meet certain requirements as far as its quality, so that it is consistent with the advertising and image of Colombian Coffee.

Several regulations and actions to ensure Colombian coffee's quality  were implemented since the early days (see our Colombian Coffee section on this site for details). Since 2005 a policy of Geographical Indications / Denomination of Origin began to be implemented, thus consolidating the existing regulations with the purpose of guaranteeing the true origin of the product. Additionally, with a network of quality coffee laboratories in Colombia and overseas, the product's quality and origin  is verified so that brands presented to consumers as Colombian Coffee are truly of Colombian origin, thus avoiding the free riding on the producers hard work and  hard earned product´s reputation. Only in this way their efforts to produce a coffee of superior quality can be adequately compensated.

Besides the sampling programs through which close to 2000 brands marketed in all continents are analyzed every year, the Federation and its R&D center Cenicafé has developed techniques to detect fraud and to optimize the strategy of legal defense of Colombian Coffee producers rights to pursue those that mislabel or try to mislead consumers using the expression Colombian Coffee or Colombian Coffee blend. In this way brands that do not belong to the Program and abuse Colombian coffee's reputation, presenting to the public blends from other origins as if they came from Colombia can be taken out of the market and pursued. These technologies are used in specific cases and have also allowed differentiating coffees from different regions within Colombia, thus optimizing the capacity of verification of origin of Colombian producers.

Communicating to consumers the advantages of Colombian Coffee

Starting in 1960, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC ) launched its first advertising campaign directed to the final consumer introducing Juan Valdez® as the character representing an authentic Colombian Coffee grower. Juan Valdez dedicates his life consciously to produce a high quality coffee, thanks not only to his arduous work, his dedication and the traditional processes, but to the particular conditions present in the the land of coffee. This advertising story, financed by Colombian Coffee producers, allowed consumers to understand that not every coffee is equal, and that the quality of each bean is intrinsically tied to the origin and the conditions of its production.

Thus, world consumers started to demand better quality coffee - Colombian Coffee - providing the basic steps to facilitate the marketing by Roasters and of 100 % Colombian Coffee brands.  This joint effort gave Colombian Coffee the image and the recognition that made this product the choice for millions of consumers in all continents. For example, the success of these campaigns is noteworthy: in 1959 only 4% of US consumers recognized Colombia as a country producing coffee, whilst in the decade of the 90's and at the beginning of the XXI century this percentage surpassed the 85 %. Other indicators of Colombian Coffee perceived by consumers as the best coffee also surpassed percentages of 55 % in several countries at the beginning of the XXI century.

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation has orientated continuously its advertising campaigns to satisfy intelligent and inquisitive consumers, converting Colombian Coffee in a worldwide reference. Between 1960 and 1980, the advertising campaigns tried to educate consumers on the benefits and attributes of Colombian Coffee, explaining how hard it is to produce it. During the decade of 1980 the Colombian Coffee Logo was launched to help consumers find 100 % Colombian brands.

The logo has also become a symbol of partnership between Colombian producers and the brands belonging to those clients committed to quality, hard work and respect for the effort carried out in the coffee farms in Colombia. The campaigns at that time concentrated in illustrations of extreme demand in funny and sophisticated scenes. Airplanes, trains and cars turned around 180º to get Colombian Coffee. These campaigns won numerous prizes of the industry, including Effie's, CLIOs y ADDIs, described Colombian Coffee in a very positive way, making the brand very recognized whilst highlighting its image.

The 1990's marked the emergence of espresso coffee and special coffee shops, which brought with them a new generation of young coffee consumers. The Colombian Coffee campaign connected them with a graphic campaign in which Juan Valdez "Tastes life" or has fun with different adventures and risky sports, including the promotion and support to sports and sportsmen. As from the present century a strategy was developed trying to get the consumer closer to the Colombian Coffee experience, which incorporates not only the traditional media but the positioning of Colombian Coffee in different consumption occasions. It is in this context that the concept of Juan Valdez Cafe was launched in 2002.

If you wish to know more about our various campaigns and the social networks connected with the Colombian coffee, please visit our section a worldwide reference, the Juan Valdez® official site and the 100porcientocafedecolombia site to access all social networks around Colombian Coffee.

Coordination with the Rosters and Brand Owners

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation maintains relations with roasters in all continents where 100% Colombian Coffee is being marketed. The basis of this relation is the execution of a Trademark License Agreement that authorizes the Colombian Coffee Logo use with certain brands. Under this license, the roasters commit themselves to report their purchases of Colombian Coffee, to update the list of their 100 % Colombian Coffee brands, to send samples of them for their quality analysis, and to provide updates on their market presence and volumes.

To facilitate the relation with their partners in the marketing of the 100% Colombian Coffee an extranet was designed. Through the colombiancoffee.net site Program members can access to all the relevant and available information on their brands registered under the Program.

The Defense and Protection of Quality to earn the Consumer's Confidence

Colombian Coffee growers use a variety of media to take their unique product to consumers. The Colombian Coffee reputation rests on its policy of support to the product, which began since 1927. It incorporates several actions including the research developed by Cenicafé, the permanent support to coffee producers in the field, the different control points carried out at different stages before and after the product is exported, the approval of the quality of each export lot, and in the programs of sampling and verification of origin of the samples collected in all markets. The Colombian coffee growers, represented by their Federation, are conscious that the consumer's loyalty is earned from the coffee seed, with the daily effort and the arduous work carried out in their small coffee farms, and with the development of instruments of guarantee of origin.

To have the necessary instruments to defend their coffee origin and to avoid that third parties take unfair advantage of the reputation achieved by the Colombian Coffee in the world, the Colombian Coffee growers use various legal intellectual property instruments. In the first place they have carried out an advanced strategy of Geographic Indications / Denomination of Origin (GI/DO) to guarantee the traceability and authenticity of Colombian Coffee.

Additionally, the 100 % Colombian Coffee Program facilitates the access to the Colombian Coffee Logo as an ingredient brand. This mark is used to support a product of a third party to give confidence to the consumer on the quality of the ingredient used and on the values and respect to those who supply that ingredient. In a similar way to what the brand ingredient Intel inside for a Dell computer communicates, the Colombian Coffee Logo supports those 100 % Colombian Coffee brands that are not only committed to quality but that also recognize the efforts of  Colombian Coffee growers to produce a coffee of a superior quality. Through ingredient brand licensing contracts, roasters and the brands that belong to the Program can attest that share the ethical principles and respect for quality that characterizes Colombian Coffee, and those who produce and market it.

As an additional effort of control, and in addition to taking samples for analysis in the different markets, the 100 % Colombian Coffee Program offers to customers in all continents the possibility to use the Colombian Coffee Logo as a guarantee of quality and as a symbol of alliance with the Colombian Coffee growers. This is possible if the roasters and the brands that belong to the Program are willing to send for evaluation their 100 % Colombian brands, to do revisions to the packaging and to provide assurances that the volumes marketed correspond with their purchases of Colombian Coffee.

A symbol of association and mutual respect between producers, customers and consumers

 In the last decades Colombian producers have developed growing brand equity around the emblematic figure of Juan Valdez®, a kind, familiar character who gives the best of himself to represent his peers and a product of superior quality. The Juan Valdez trademark and the Colombian Coffee Logo as an ingredient brand reflects his figure and that of his mule - Conchita- showing that there is a big associative effort and commitment behind all Colombian Coffee brands. This partnership and respect between producers with themselves, and between producers, brand owners and consumers are promoted by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, currently one of the biggest rural NGOs, and increasingly recognized by inquisitive customers and consumers  as an exceptional organization.

The roasters and the brands that belong to the Program know that behind Colombian Coffee there is much more than product quality. They know that behind Colombian Coffee there are Sustainability That Matters programs, a policy of transparency directed to favor producer interests and a long term commitment and communities Colombian Coffee in different social networks. Program members are conscious that consumers have the right to know from where their coffee comes from, the relation between the origin and its quality, and the ethical commitments associated with its marketing. The 100 % Colombian Coffee Program is a producers initiative, not imposed by third parties,  which gives voice and establishes a respectful relation that is far from being paternalist, between coffee growers, the members of the industry and the consumers.

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