Almost 50 thousand coffee producers will march in a third of Colombia’s departments Tuesday to protest the government’s “ignorance” of coffee price volatility.
Caracol Radio reported that coffee growers are marching in 10 of Colombia’s 32 departments due to what they consider “the ignorance of the national government of the crisis that leaves the [coffee] sector at three trillion pesos lost over the last three years,” coming to over $1.5 million.
Climate change, pests and the decline in the international price of coffee, among others, are integral factors in the considerable financial loss for the coffee sector in recent years. However, coffee producers are marching in regards to the government’s alleged indifference to the coffee sector and their pleas for help.
According to newspaper El Liberal, the national coordinator of the Movement for the Defense and Dignity of Coffee that will march today said that the current coffee situation has made livelihood for coffee farmers impossible, “if the government does not throw them a lifeline.” The movement also marched and submitted a petition to the government in August and has not yet received a reply.
Although coffee production numbers are not what they have been in previous years, numbers are allegedly on the rise from last year with the coffee sector expected to produce nine million bags of coffee, one million more bags than the previous year.
Despite coffee growers grievances with the government, the National Federation of Coffee, a non-profit business association, also recently announced that it will launch a new version of the Contract Price Protection (CPP) for coffee farmers this week.
The CPP is a financial instrument that will allow the country’s coffee growers to better protect their income since their profit is greatly dependent upon the spikes and volatility of international prices. Newspaper El Espectador reported that through the CPP, the federation hopes to optimize producers’ productivity and costs.