The Colombian government and coffee farmers on Thursday reached an agreement to end the coffee strikes which mobilized some 90,000 people across Colombia.
“I celebrate the agreement with the coffee farmers. It’s an immense fiscal effort for a guild that has always been in my heart,” announced President Juan manuel Santos on Twitter.
Celebro acuerdo con cafeteros. Es un inmenso esfuerzo fiscal por un gremio que siempre ha estado en mi corazón.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) March 8, 2013
The agreement is called the Protection for the Income of Farmers (PIC), and will ensure that coffee farmers receive a subsidy of $70 for every load of coffee produced, which is roughly equivalent to 25% of the total price of a load of coffee.
If the wholesale price of coffee falls below $260 per load, the subsidy will increase to $80.
According to the government, other issues of importance were also discussed, including the question of mining in coffee growing areas, credit, fertilizers, and the formalization of labor. However, the details relating to these discussions and agreements have not yet been released.
“Never in the history of coffee has there been an agreement like this,” said the Minister of Agriculture Juan Camilo Restrepo.
The agreement was reached in the city of Peirera, in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region, in the west of the country. Colombia’s Vice President Angelino Garzon led negotiations with the leaders of the coffee strikes.
Coffee farmers had been on strike since February 25, protesting against what they believed was insufficient government support for a sector that has suffered immense stress due to a drop in global coffee prices, the appreciation of the peso, flooding and other factors.
- Presidente Santos celebra acuerdo con los Cafeteros (Government press release)