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Colombia’s Free-Deforestation Coffee Reaches the EU


Colombia Sustainable Coffee
The first sustainable coffee shipments from Colombia, complying with deforestation-free standards have departed for the European Union. Credit: Public Domain/Pixabay

Colombia has exported its first deforestation-free coffee to the European Union, with shipments totaling 40,250 kilograms. Originating from the Quindio and Huila Departments, the coffee meets sustainable standards and is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.

This initiative is part of the European Green Deal’s Zero Deforestation program, which collaborates with coffee, cocoa, and palm oil exporters to ensure sustainable production and exportation. This is anticipated to enhance Colombia’s trade alliance with the European Union by December 2024.

In Colombia, the National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) has been instrumental in guiding producers, emphasizing commitment to the sustainability of Colombian coffee farming. On April 24 and 29, the organization arranged the export of coffee from approximately 57 producers across 64 farms located in the Colombian departments of Huila and Quindio to the EU.

Colombia leads sustainable coffee exports to the EU

“This achievement is made possible through the validation of materials, purchase lots, and milling processes. These are verified by cross-referencing information with the Coffee Information System (SICA), allowing for continuous crop monitoring,” explained German Bahamon, president of the FNC. He further elaborated that the certification process involves aligning the geographic coordinates of the farms with forest cover changes observed between 2020 and 2023, utilizing data sourced from the Global Forest Watch (GFW).

The FNC extends its support to private exporters through this process. A notable instance is its collaboration with RaCafe, one of Colombia’s foremost coffee exporters, in facilitating its validation and certification process.

“This process marks a milestone for our coffee farming. Adapting to EU regulations has progressed with the coordination and support of the Minister of Commerce, Dr. German Umaña, and his team. Their ongoing efforts are crucial to guaranteeing Colombian coffee growers’ access to the European market” stated the FNC President.

The FNC’s compliance with European regulatory standards is backed by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism. Given the European Union’s substantial coffee consumer market, estimated at over $40 billion annually, adhering to these standards is essential to ensure the thriving of Colombian coffee growers within this market.

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