Coffee growers in Colombia are organized under the umbrella of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federationn (FNC) and its Departmental and Municipal Coffee Growers’ Committees. The producers belonging to this institutional structure organize themselves in groups, they vote and they have free access to markets. This framework of participation has been instrumental in generating social capital around coffee, as well as democracy and peace in Colombian coffee regions, including Nariño. This has also meant that coffee growers and their organization are the main actors in the definition of their sustainability policies. The basis of coffee production with a focus on sustainability in Nariño and the rest of Colombia is to improve the quality of life of coffee growers through lines of work aimed at optimizing the farm, the environment, the rural community and connectivity.
Much of the efforts towards sustainability are based on ensuring that the coffee growers in Nariño receive a just price for their product. Since the concept of a just price could be questionable or questioned by producers, customers and consumers, the FNC has concentrated in ensuring that the producers have access to sales points that pay them in cash, which are open all year round and operate according to the international market and provide transparent up to market prices. The Federation also makes sure that the producers receive prizes for the quality of the excellent coffee they produce by obliging other buyers to adopt similar practices. In Colombian this is known as the purchase guarantee policy and is explained further on the www.SustainabilityThatMatters.org site.
In all Colombian coffee regions, , the Federation also implements a number of national and regional programs using its own funds and funds from other entities including international cooperation organizations, NGO’s and interested clients. On our page www.SustainabilityThatMatters.org we also outline the national programs that allow coffee growers in Nariño and other regions to access resources in order to invest in productivity, fertilization, crop renovation and programs for agricultural extension among many others that contribute to the sustainability of their farms and communities.
None of this would be possible if the natural resources were not looked after and this is why we implement shade and semi-shade systems, new technologies that require less water in the post harvesting processes, reducing their environmental impact, and applying sun-drying systems that take advantage of renewable energy sources. The Sustainability that Matters program deals with these and other delicate topics that require opportune research and scientific diagnostics, as well as biodiversity conservation programs and policies.
As well as the national programs that operate in Nariño, there are a number of specific regional initiatives outlined as follows:
The coffee growers in the Cauca and Nariño Departmental Coffee Growers’ Committees and in the 22 Municipal Coffee Growers’ Committees in the areas which produce Café de Nariño are the main actors of the Sustainability that Matters programs in the area. More than 86 Federation’s extension agents monitor the programs and projects developed in the region.
To learn about the programs developed in the last months, please click on any of these options: