Colombian leaders are hoping the peace talks with guerilla insurgents will not affect the coffee industry.
The head of the International Coffee Organization, Jose D. Sette, recently told the Colombian news source Colombia Reports that “internal civil strife does not appear to have affected Colombian coffee in a significant way in the past, so there is no reason to suppose that peace talks would have any impact on coffee exports now.”
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos revealed last week that exploratory talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, were under way. The guerilla group has rebelled against the Colombian government for more than four decades.
According to ICO data, coffee exports from Colombia fell from more than 11 million bags in 2007 to just over 7 million bags in 2010. Last year, the country exported 8 million bags and several sources are reporting that Colombian exporters and traders are fighting more aggressively this year to reclaim the country’s previous market share.