Strategic Social Capital Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC)
The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation
Seeking to increase the Colombian coffee industry´s competitiveness and the wellbeing of its producers, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), a private nonprofit organization, was created in 1927.
Since 1940 the FNC has managed the main source of funds for financing the Colombian coffee policy: the National Coffee Fund. The FNC´s management and execution capacity has been acknowledged by regional, national and international institutions. It has destined resources to support the National Coffee Fund´s programs, and therefore, has potentiated the savings of Colombian coffee growers.
Currently, for every Colombian peso destined to the fund´s social investment, around four additional pesos are provided by third parties (national government, regional authorities, international donors, and international cooperation agencies) to benefit coffee growing communities including the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia (PCC).
The FNC offers numerous services to the inhabitants of the PCC including: strengthening coffee productivity, guaranteeing the purchase of the product at a transparent price, and finding value added strategies in the coffee productive chain which result in higher income for producers.
The FNC also champions the interests of coffee growers in international negotiations, provides research, promotes Colombian coffee in international markets, and assists coffee growers with complementary services including agricultural extension and quality controls. Additionally, the FNC is the leading entity in terms of environmental project management, social infrastructure, and economic and social development for the improvement of the quality of life of coffee producers and their families.
The strength of the FNC lies in its legitimacy and representativeness. Its organizational structure is composed by different instances that guide their policies whose members are democratically elected every four years by more than 382 thousand Colombian coffee growers. The degree commitment of coffee growers to their institution is manifested in the levels of participation in the FNC´s democratic instances.
National participation in coffee elections reaches 65%, surpassing the participation in Presidential and Congress national elections. Coffee elections encourage representativeness and legitimacy in local, regional and national decision-making entities such as the National Coffee Growers Congress, the National Coffee Growers Committee, the Steering Committee, the 15 Departmental Coffee Grower Committees, and the 366 Municipal Coffee Grower Committees.
Many of the FNC´s regional programs are developed by Departmental Coffee Growers Committees, which are in charge of executing different programs in coffee growing areas. Each of the four departments which comprise the PCC has a Departmental Coffee Growers Committee. Each committee counts with the support of 47 Municipal Coffee Growers Committees located in the PCC, an administrative network, and rural extensionists who represent the FNC in the farms and villages. Nearly 400 people are part of the FNC´s Extension Service in the PCC´s four departments.