High production costs and little grain in the local market led El Café to stop producing atomized coffee in Montecristi. This does not mean that the company will close, says its manager Bernardo Arosemena, although it augurs more problems if the State does not take corrective measures for this sector.
Before, it had halted the production of freeze-dried coffee, which is for export, because they already have the necessary stock to meet international commitments of this 2018 and more.
The atomized is not processed because until September, “everything we are going to deliver and sell in the Ecuadorian market” was produced. Arosemena said that perhaps in late January 2019 they will resume production because there is also no coffee in Ecuador.
As a result, its staff was reduced from 503 to 415 employees who will continue for maintenance work. The 2017 Coffee stopped production in Guayaquil, where there are 20 employees out of the 700 there were.
The manager of El Café talks about little competitiveness. “(We invested), around $ 2.3 million in water. In Colombia I would be spending less than half, (there) it costs $ 1.40 per cubic meter with sewerage, here it costs me about $ 5. “
And shipping costs for containers and industrial diesel have also raised their prices. The coffee exported 24,000 tons of soluble coffee, 2016 fell to 19,000, 2017 to 13,000 and this will not send more than 8,500, for domestic production will remain the 900 tons.
Pablo Pinargote, manager of the National Association of Coffee Exporters, indicated that this crisis is evident more than six years ago, he gave as an example that exports have fallen since 2012 by 60%.
In figures, in 2012 for industrialized coffee, in grain, roasted and ground, $ 280 million came in, but last year it reached $ 120 million.
In 2017, Ecuador exported 750,000 bags of 60 kg in industrialized coffee, roasted and ground coffee. “Being an optimist, we are going to export no more than 500,000 bags, 33% less.”
For him, this debacle is also due to a very poor agricultural policy for coffee in recent years. “We have said that unfortunately the project of conversion and renewal of coffee that occurred in the previous Government has not taken effect, we have not increased production.” The country produces 5 to 10 quintals per hectare, and Peru and Colombia, between 25 and 30. (I)