The new Colombian coffee farming
Since its inception, Colombian coffee farming has been mostly by smallholder producers, who have always been the protagonists, but a recent article published by the BPA Corporation, whose excerpts we reproduce below, highlights the growing importance of sustainability and high quality in coffee production in Colombia.
Colombian coffee farming is living a new era: the model of a large-scale agriculture, with strong use of chemicals and based on the central role of large producers, is being replaced by a model focused on sustainability, empowerment of smallholder producers, clean production, and coffee quality to target the market of specialty coffee and denominations of origin. These changes are being driven by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), which is applying new commercial strategies and rural development approaches.
In the international market it is known as specialty coffee, for which the market pays higher prices due to its better characteristics, a price which goes directly to producers. This segment includes denomination-of-origin coffee, like that used by Buencafé as 100% Colombian coffee, or coffee produced with ecofriendly technologies and practices, whose production has become a new bonanza for coffee growers.
In Colombia, coffee has become an institution. It is not only grown and produced in the traditional “Eje Cafetero” or Coffee Triangle (Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda, northern Valle del Cauca and southern Antioquia): in departments such as Huila and Cauca, in the south of the country, coffee production is growing rapidly. This wide distribution allows for production throughout the year with a wide variety of profiles, including different types of acidity, body, flavor and smoothness, which are allowing the country to dominate in those markets that are willing to pay more for better coffee.
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Today, the typical coffee grower has a greater environmental awareness, applies clean production practices, and manages their plantation with business criteria. The crop renewal program of the FNC has been a key piece in this strategy, since 40% (363,000 hectares) of the coffee plantations have been renewed in the last five years. Renewal is not only to plant new trees, but to change coffee growers’ mindset
With this new sustainable development approach, the FNC, supported by all the branches it encompasses, including Buencafé, hopes to consolidate coffee farming as a locomotive that will drive growth of the Colombian agricultural sector, eradicate poverty from coffee population, formalize employment of coffee entrepreneurs, and improve competitiveness of Colombian coffee.
With this new approach, Buencafé also reaffirms its commitment to adding value to Colombian coffee-farming families, continuing applying practices under sustainability policies, and exporting the best 100% Colombian coffee to the whole world.
>>The new Colombian coffee industry Colombia. PBA Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.corporacionpba.org/portal/content/la-nueva-caficultura-colombiana