Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a major marketing and trade facilitation initiative called Coffee for Peace.
Formally announced nearly two weeks ago at Colombia’s major coffee expo, Cafés de Colombia in Bogotá, the Coffee for Peace program is designed to promote coffee trade and sustainable farmer incomes in areas of Colombia that have been historically affected by violence and illicit drug trade economies.
“Any initiative that helps us improve the income of Colombian coffee growers, which includes providing direct access to buyers willing to recognize their work, will always be welcome and will have the strong support of the FNC,” FNC General Manager Roberto Vélez Vallejo said at the launch, according to the FNC.
The program aims to reach 12,000 coffee-farming families from six departments and regions (Antioquia, Caquetá, Cauca, Meta, southern Bolívar and Valle del Cauca) and 34 municipalities in Colombia. According to the FNC, the program has already resulted in the successful trade of 398 tons of coffee worth $1.4 million (a breakdown of $1.758 per pound).
The project’s website (coffeeforpeace.org) is currently available in English and Spanish versions, while also linking to new social profiles on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. It also includes region-specific profiles of each of the partnering producer organizations, while maintaining a catalogue of each of the coffees currently available, including producer information, lot information, tasting notes, available volume and more.
The FNC is listed as the exporter for each of the available coffees, while USAID and the FNC have enlisted the support of numerous strategic partners for the Coffee for Peace program.
The Netherlands-based importer Trabocca has already facilitated three live auctions in Cauca while helping to distribute micro-lot offerings to roasters in The Netherlands, the United States and South Korea. A company spokesman from California-based coffee consultancy and education provider Boot Coffee told DCN that the company has been hired to assist with promotion and marketing, coffee quality improvement, and e-commerce.
Later this year, the Coffee for Peace program will involve four coffee caravans for coffee buyers to the departments of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Antioquia, Meta and Bolívar, in collaboration with numerous importing companies, including RGC Coffee, Atlas Coffee Importers, Schuil Coffee, The Coffee Source and Crop to Cup.