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FNC suggests Colombian coffee could leave New York Stock Exchange

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) CEO Roberto Vélez has floated the possibility that Colombian coffee could stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange at a press conference in Bogotá, Colombia on 26 February.

"At these price levels, our coffee farming is not sustainable," Vélez says. "Colombian coffee growers cannot continue to be beggars, that is not our coffee farming."

Vélez explains that the international coffee price now largely depends on what happens in Brazil and that in the next four years, the price is not expected to improve substantially.

"Those wanting Colombian coffee will pay what is fair, that is, the costs plus a small profitability," Vélez says, clarifying that the measure still has to be consulted with the producers themselves and the industry.

"It is not a decision already made.”

The FNC says Colombia is working with other allies, such as the Central American producers to determine the best course of action. For this purpose, Colombian President Iván Duque and the FNC plan to lead a summit of producer countries in September 2019.

Vélez says the current fall of prices is due to several factors, including a global surplus in the market, with production in Brazil of 60 to 65 million bags.

At the domestic level, the FNC will work on three specific objectives: to increase productivity of coffee plantations, reduce production costs and raise domestic coffee consumption.

For the first two objectives, the FNC will continue it More Agronomy, More Productivity program. The Federation says thanks to this agronomic strategy, 81 per cent of the coffee area is already planted with resistant varieties, productivity is 18.83 bags of green coffee per hectare and average age is 6.8 years. However, to maintain these good results, at least 10 per cent of the planted area must be renewed every year.

The FNC says in 2019, it will redouble its efforts to increase profitability of producers, which includes insisting on the importance of the global industry’s co-responsibility for a sustainable chain.

The FNC will address co-responsibility of all actors in the coffee value chain at the National Coffee Association Convention from 7 to 9 March in Atlanta, United States. It will also appear at the International Coffee Council in Kenya from 25 to 29 March and the World Coffee Producers Forum in July in Brazil.

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