BOGOTÁ, Colombia, May 15, 2018 -- In recent weeks, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) has received important sustainability and quality awards from key players in the global coffee industry such as Rainforest Alliance, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), and the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).
Last week, on May 9, the FNC received one of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Standard-Setters Awards for its exceptional commitment to sustainability, improving coffee farmers’ livelihoods, and conserving forests.
Since its creation in 1927, the FNC has worked to improve quality of life of the over 540,000 coffee-growing families it represents nowadays. “For Colombian coffee farmers, sustainability is closely linked to their raison d’être. So much so that over 236,000 coffee farms in Colombia meet some sustainability standard, and by 2027, when the FNC becomes 100 years old, we aspire to make all Colombian coffee sustainable,” said the FNC CEO, Roberto Vélez, upon receiving the recognition on behalf of the Colombian coffee growers.
“The individuals, communities, and businesses we have highlighted are working to address the significant and related challenges of climate change, rural poverty, and biodiversity loss. Their work has resulted in real changes on the ground, and is helping to improve conditions for farmers and forest communities,” said Han de Groot, the Rainforest Alliance CEO.
CQI 2018 Leadership Medal of Merit
On April 21 in Seattle, during its annual luncheon, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) awarded its 2018 Leadership Medal of Merit, in the corporate category, to the FNC, honoring its commitment of over 90 years to improving farmers’ livelihoods, fostering sustainability, and increasing coffee quality, helping to strengthen the Colombian coffee sector as a whole.
“Thanks in large part to the work of the FNC, quality and sustainability are not recent trends for Colombian coffee growers,” said CQI Executive Director, David Roche. “These have been a priority for over 90 years, along with differentiating quality, adding value, and staying ahead of the curve on economic, social and environmental practices.”
“We receive this recognition with double gratitude: firstly, for the prestige of CQI in the global coffee industry, and secondly, because it comes at a crucial time, when we redouble efforts to increase sustainability of coffee farmers not only in Colombia, but in the world, with an approach of shared responsibility of all actors in the chain,” said Vélez, the FNC CEO, on behalf of all Colombian producers.
The CQI recognized that the FNC has undertaken important initiatives and taken visionary measures to strengthen the Colombian coffee sector. The FNC’s programs also help farmers prepare for challenges ahead, including adapting to climate change, fostering sustainable coffee farming, and stimulating generational continuity, the CQI highlighted.
Manos al Agua is granted SCA Sustainability Award
On April 19, also in Seattle, the Manos al Agua Project, implemented by the FNC as part of a public-private partnership, was granted the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Sustainability Award 2018, the most important of its kind, thanks to the results achieved in the category of Sustainable Projects.
The award was achieved thanks to the importance and results of Manos al Agua (including installation of on-farm water saving and treatment systems), as an innovative project for integrated water resources management in coffee river basins, a replicable model for sustainable rural development in Colombia.
The SCA Sustainability Award is granted since 2004 to companies and organizations that create and implement innovative projects or business models to expand and promote coffee sustainability in the world, while inspiring others to start similar initiatives.
“Manos al Agua is a holistic project, one of the most successful of the Colombian coffee institutions,” Vélez, the FNC CEO, noted.
A 5-year public-private partnership, the Project started in 2013 and is made up of the FNC, the Dutch Cooperation Agency, the private companies Nestlé & Nespresso; the Colombian Coffee Research Center (Cenicafé) and the Wageningen University as scientific-academic partners, and Colombia’s Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC-Colombia).