Behind Colombian coffee lies a commitment to sustainability and fair pricing that benefits some 500,000 coffee growers in the Andes, most of them small-scale producers
For years, Colombian coffee has been known for its consistent quality and pronounced aroma. Every time you buy 100 per cent Colombian coffee, a protected geographical indication (PGI), you are getting 100 per cent mild arabica, hand-picked high quality coffee.
The PGI designation is critically important, though not everyone understands its significance. In fact, Colombian coffee was the first non-European product to be given such status by the European Commission in 2007, as it could demonstrate its quality assurance system and the close link between quality and its region of origin.
Colombia has more than 500,000 coffee growers spread throughout the Andes mountain range. Some 95 per cent of them are small producers owning less than five cultivated coffee hectares.
What makes them unique is that they are organised in a guild, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) which allows them to pool resources and efforts for the greater good.
Since its creation in 1927, the FNC’s mission has been to guarantee the growers’ long-term sustainability through social investment, research and development, technical extension, quality control and promotion of Colombian coffee worldwide.
In addition, under a unique fair commerce scheme, the FNC guarantees the growers a transparent price for their coffee based on daily market conditions and coffee quality.
The FNC’s mission is to guarantee coffee growers’ long-term sustainability through social investment, research and development, technical extension, quality control and promotion of Colombian coffee worldwide
Colombia’s continued efforts to support the wellbeing of coffee growers, as well as the economic and environmental sustainability of their activity, are based on a model that other coffee-producing regions would like to replicate. This is why there are a number of 100 per cent Colombian brands, identified by the Juan Valdez coffee grower character, which emphasise to consumers that they are committed to making a difference for hundreds of thousands of small coffee growers.
By buying Juan Valdez-marked Colombian coffee, consumers are also helping to support the FNC Sustainability That Matters programmes, focused on productivity, social development, environmental protection and connectivity for the producers.
“As coffee growers, we are aware that the sustainability of Colombian coffee, the richest coffee in the world, depends on our commitment to the environment and the wellbeing of our community. Consequently, since 1927 we’ve been working as an institution on a model based on quality, peace and progress,” says Luis Munoz, FNC’s CEO.
Colombian coffee has been sold in the UK for more than 30 years, both instant and ground. Look for the Café de Colombia logo (Juan Valdez and his mule Conchita) in brands such as Juan Valdez, Buendía, and Cafe Nueva. Many other brands, such as Nescafé, Percol, Costa Coffee and Senseo, also use Colombian coffee so help to support the FNC in its work.
The Juan Valdez signature brand premium freeze-dried coffee is available at Tesco stores. This brand is produced at the FNC factory, Buencafé, one of the largest and most modern coffee facilities in the world, and the only freeze-dried coffee plant in Colombia. A share of the sales of this particular product is directed towards the Sustainability That Matters programmes.