Colombian’s new coffee chief
Thursday said the national federation had no plans for now to
purchase shares in U.S. chain Starbucks Corp. as a way
to better its distribution to the major U.S. market.
Previous director Gabriel Silva had said Colombia, the
world’s No. 3 exporter, and other coffee-growing associations
in Brazil and Central America were considering purchasing a
share in Starbucks to improve their distribution network.
“For now, the subject of buying shares is a closed
subject,” National Federation of Coffee Growers director Luis
Genaro Muñoz told reporters after he was elected into the post
by the group’s regional committees on Thursday.
Muñoz, a federation veteran who says he will follow Silva’s
policy line, was competing against Luis Guillermo Echeverri, a
Colombian representative to the InterAmerican Development Bank,
and Juan Guillermo Angel, a central government advisor for San
Andres island in the Caribbean.
“It will be my responsibility to ensure the continuity of
policies that guarantee equality in the support from the
federation to each and everyone of the coffee regions,” Muñoz
said after winning the post.
Muñoz won backing of 11 of the 15 coffee-producing regions
who vote in the election. But he failed to win support from the
provinces of Antioquia, Caldas, Cundinamarca, and Quindio,
which account for 38 percent of the national production.
The new director must follow the success of Silva, praised
for modernizing federation management while supporting growth
of the Juan Valdez coffee chain brand, a crop renovation
program and promotion of specialty coffees.
Colombia, the world’s top exporter of high-quality soft
arabicas, has seen its production slide due to bad weather and
the crop program which replaces aging trees. Those factors have
pushed up premiums for the country’s beans. (Reuters)