Strategic Social Capital Strategic Social Capital

Strategic social capital around the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation´s Committees

Strategic Social Capital is one of the four criterions that define the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia´s (PCC) universal exceptional value.

Besides spurring the region´s development, coffee growing is the PCC´s main economic activity.

Seeking for an institution that would strive for their interest’s, in 1927 Colombian coffee growers created the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and its Coffee Grower Committees.

Colombia´s unique coffee growing model is characterized by:

  • Democratic election of guild representatives
  • Purchase guarantee
  • Transfer of the highest possible price to coffee growers
  • Scientific research
  • Technology transfer
  • Quality control
  • Value added
  • Coffee advertising and promotion

Producing coffee in the PCC is not an easy task. Factors including the Colombian Andes´ vertiginous slopes, the limited possibilities of mechanization, and the resulting high production costs may lead to believe that coffee growing is not a competitive activity. The region´s natural traits, not characteristic of other countries or coffee producing areas, make coffee production in the PCC challenging. However, thanks to the institutions created by Colombia´s growers, coffee growing has consolidated itself as the PCC´s rural sector´s main activity and as a source of development for the entire country.

Through collective action, the institutions created by Colombian coffee growers have helped forge human capacities such as creativity, research, cooperation and systematic effort. These capacities have led to innovative strategies which have positioned Colombian coffee as one of the best coffees in the world.

Colombia´s institutional coffee growing model has gained access to various markets through the development of a system based on commercialization, storage, technical assistance, research and technological development, and institutional support. Not only has this made it possible to face the inherent challenges of the world´s market, but it has encouraged the commercialization of Colombian coffee with premiums and the remuneration of the efforts of producers and their families.

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