Coffee production

This site is dedicated to one of the most precious human invention - the magic beverage named COFFEE! For all the coffee lovers we've collected some interesting facts about coffee and coffee business and history. And so... ...coffee production in Colombia has a reputation as the best in the world, producing mild, well balanced coffee beans. Colombia's average annual coffee production of 11.5 million bags is the third total highest in the world, after Brazil and Vietnam; though highest in terms of the arabica bean. The beans are exported to United States, Germany, France, Japan, and Italy. Most coffee is grown in the Colombian coffee growing axis region. In 2007, the European Union granted Colombian coffee a protected designation of origin status. In 2011 UNESCO declared the coffee growing region a World Heritage site.

Early History

The first coffee crops were planted in the eastern part of the country. In 1835 the first commercial production was registered with 2,560 green coffee bags that were exported from the port of Cucuta, near the border with Venezuela. A priest named Francisco Romero is attributed to have been very influential in the propagation of the crop in the northeast region of the country. After hearing the confession of the parishioners of the town of Salazar de la Palmas, he required as penance the cultivation of coffee. Coffee became established in the departments of Santander and North Santander, Cundinamarca, Antioquia, and the historic region of Caldas. Despite these early developments, the consolidation of coffee as a Colombian export did not come about until the second half of the 19th century. The great expansion that the world economy underwent at that time allowed Colombian landowners to find attractive opportunities in international markets. Little by little, the United States became the most important consumer of coffee in the world, while Germany and France became the most important markets in Europe. The then large Colombian landowners had already tried to exploit the new opportunities that the expansion of the international markets offered. Between 1850 and 1857 the country experienced a significant increase in tobacco and quinine exports, and thereafter leather and live cattle. These early efforts in the export of agricultural commodities turned out too fragile; they in fact were only reactionary attempts to find the greatest profitability from the high international prices of the time, rather than attempts to create a solid and diversified export platform. The production of these sectors went into period of decline when the respective bonanza of their international prices terminated, hence a true industrial consolidation was prevented.

The crisis

The crisis that affected the large estates brought with it one of the most significant changes of the Colombian coffee industry. Since 1875 the number of small coffee producers had begun to grow in Santander as well as in some regions of Antioquia and in the region referred to as Viejo or Old Caldas. In the first decades of the 20th century a new model to develop coffee exports based on the rural economy had already been consolidated, supported by internal migration and the colonization of new territories in the center and western regions of the country, principally in the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Valle, and in the northern part of Tolima. Both the expansion of this new coffee model and the crisis that affected the large estates allowed the western regions of Colombia to take the lead in the development of the coffee industry in the country.

National Federation

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is a non-profit business association, popularly known for its "Juan Valdez" marketing campaign. The federation was founded in 1927 as a business cooperative that promotes the production and exportation of Colombian coffee. It currently represents more than 500,000 producers, most of whom are small family owned farms. The federation supports research and development in the production of coffee through grants to local universities and through federation sponsored research institutes.

Juan Valdez is a fictional character who has appeared in adverts for the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia since 1958, representing a Colombian coffee farmer. The adverts were designed by the Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency, with the goal of distinguishing 100%-Colombian coffee from coffee blended with beans from other countries. He typically appears alongside his mule Conchita, carrying sacks of harvested coffee beans. He has become an icon for Colombia as well as coffee in general, and Juan Valdez's iconic appearance is frequently mimicked or parodied in television and other media.

The federation also monitors production to ensure export quality standards are met. The Federation was founded with three objectives: 1) to protect the industry, 2) to study its problems, and 3) to further its interests.[15] The Juan Valdez branding concept was developed in 1981 to distinguish 100% Colombian coffee from coffee blended with beans from other countries. The trademark made its first TV appearance in 1983 featuring a country farmer carrying coffee on his mule.