I just got back from Colombia where I spent some time in Pereira, the heart of the coffee growing triangle. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage landscape, it is a spectacular and unique region and one of the most visited by tourists in Colombia. But there is trouble in Paradise. This week thousands Coffee growers have been striking in Bogota and blocking roads throughout the region to protest falling coffee prices . In response the Government has raised subsidies and called for the strikes to end.
“Coffee growers in Colombia, the world’s top producer of high-quality Arabica beans, are demanding more help from the government after being hit by years of poor weather, crop disease and a strong currency.
They have been blocking key highways and secondary roads since Monday, especially in the coffee producing provinces of Huila and Cauca.
“There is no reason to continue with the strike and blockages. This is a solution with a strong financial appeal,” said Luis Genaro Munoz, head of the coffee growers federation after meeting government officials to discuss their demands.
The government has offered to increase a subsidy to 115,000 pesos from 60,000 pesos previously for a 125-kg sack of parchment coffee for small producers when the internal coffee price is below 650,000 pesos. The subsidy also increases to 95,000 pesos from 60,000 previously for big land owners.” Here is a link to the full story By Diana Delgado of Reuters