By joining together in the Federation the farmers achieve the benefits, and power, that only a large organization can provide. This is especially important, as the average size of an individual coffee farm in Colombia is around 2 hectares. Everything the Federation does is for the benefit of all coffee farmers. All profits are channeled back to the cafeteros and their communities. One important and direct result of the Federation's work is that Colombian Coffee, today sells at a significant price premium on the international coffee market, providing a higher standard of living for the cafeteros. The Colombian Coffee Federation represents commercially successful fair-trading, proven over 70 years. The Price Guarantee: A buffer against a volatile and unpredictable international coffee market The farmers are guaranteed an adequate, stable income. Extra revenue generated when international prices are higher is held in reserve in order to maintain a minimum price when the international price drops. In the early 1990's this system served to compensate the farmer"s $1.5 billion shortfall . Each Cafetero is paid directly by the FNC, and just as important, they will always buy the farmer's coffee.
However, the farmers are under no obligation to sell to the Federation, as it has no form of commercial monopoly. In fact, there are over 50 private shippers and 40 co-operatives operating in the Colombian coffee trade. Investing in the community Investment to improve the infrastructure - providing schools, roads and health centers - is one way the FNC channels and profits back into the community and enhances the quality of life for millions of people. Quality Consistent, high quality is vital in order to maintain the worldwide popularity of Café de Colombia - and, therefore, to ensure a good, secure income for the Cafeteros.
The FNC has over 800 agricultural advisors "on the road " and runs agricultural colleges and schools. One of the world"s leading research and development centers for coffee (Cenicafé) with over 100 scientists and chemists, is operated by the Federation, plus several experimental farms. The development and promotion of ecologically sound growing and production methods is an important part of the R&D program. Adding Value in Columbia The FNC has built one of the world's largest factories for freeze-dried coffee in Chinchiná, at the heart of Colombia's coffee growing region. The factory brings to the area employment opportunities, business activity and dissemination of technical and management skills. The plant is managed totally for the benefit of, and with all the profits returning to, the coffee farmers and their communities. Diversification The lack of growth of the international coffee market, and increases in productivity, has led the FNC to encourage farmers in the coffee regions to grow alternative crops to avoid over-dependence on coffee; just one example of the Federation#s foresight and practical strategic planning. Promoting Café de Columbia The FNC uses all available means of modern marketing and advertising to promote Colombian coffee around the world. Carefully targeted activities create a stronger awareness and perception of Café de Colombia and therefore, favorable market conditions for the Cafetero's coffee.
A Fair Trade and Democratic Organisation
The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is truly democratic, totally controlled by the coffee farmers. To ensure democratic representation, it has a three level representative structure based on the one man one vote principle with the National Coffee Congress of elected members as the ruling body. All representatives, at all levels are coffee farmers.
* Was created and is led by the farmers themselves - not imposed by the government or international organizations.
* Is non-political. This has led to great stability.
* Acts as a commercial enterprise, which means stronger pressure on management and staff to perform.
* Does not have any commercial monopolies in Colombia. Other coffee exporters in Colombia are the farmers' guarantee that the Federation performs at its best.
* Is built on a balance between private and public interests - a pragmatic approach to achieve the best results for the coffee farmers.
Coffee products displaying the Café de Colombia logo are guaranteed to have been made exclusively from coffee produced by Colombian Cafeteros, and revenue from the sale will benefit them and their communities.
Further information: www.juanvaldez.com