The National Department of Statistics revealed today that 80 percent of the coffee consumed in Colombia in 2012 was imported, despite the fact that the country is the fourth largest coffee producer in the world and the global leader in exports of the Arabica variety.
Dane confirmed that some 1,03 sacks of coffee mainly from Ecuador and Peru came into the country last year, a percentage that’s equivalent to 80 percent of the coffee consumed in the country.
This increase in imports was precisely one of the reasons for coffee growers’ protests, who for 12 days staged demonstrations all over the country to demand improvements to the sector; the strike ended last March 8th when an agreement with the Government was reached.
The CEO of the National Coffee Federation, Luis Genaro Muñoz, explained that the import statistics aren’t abnormal and that it comes from a decline in production and efforts to constantly improve the grain, to make it export quality.
The former general secretary of the National Coffee Federation, Guillermo Trujillo, explained to Semana Magazine that,“Colombian consumers are accustomed to a coffee more similar to the one brought into the country, which is cheaper and of inferior quality”.
“It’s imported at one dollar and our coffee is exported at 1,6 dollars, so it’s an exercise in which producers and consumers all win,” Trujillo said. If the domestic market were supplied with superior quality coffee, “internal prices would be unattainable for Colombians.”