In 2020, the owners of the La Florida farm, located in the Sozoranga canton in the province of Loja, sold special yellow catucal coffee produced in carbonic maceration to the South Korean company Momos Coffee at a price of $ 70.25 per pound. , one of the highest that an Ecuadorian producer has received for grain. Until a few years ago, companies sold specialty coffees at prices that did not exceed $ 35 per pound.
This coffee, winner last year of the fourteenth edition of the Golden Cup contest, has the anaerobic fermentation washing process; It is produced at about 1,600 meters above sea level and it also became the first Ecuadorian coffee to be marketed under the English electronic auction system, in which several buyers from around the world participated.
Vinicio Dávila, who until July 2 was the director of the event, indicated that Ecuador currently has more experience in the production of specialty coffees in relation to Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua and other Central and South American nations.
He bases his claim on the prices paid per pound of special bean production: Ecuador sold a pound of specialty coffee at $ 70.25, Costa Rica at $ 70.10 and Colombia at $ 70, according to statistics shown by the Association. National Coffee Growers of Ecuador (Anecafé).
“We are new to the map of coffee specialties in the world, because they generally buy coffee from Colombia or Brazil. Ecuador is breaking these paradigms and is showing off for its own quality and for its own effort, ”acknowledged Dávila, who handed over the contest to Vinicio Martínez, producer from Loja and president of the Regional Federation of Ecological Coffee Growers (Fapecafes).
Joseph Massoud, president of Anecafé, said that the union aims to bring together the entire coffee sector and that its processes make a difference from other producers in the world. He believed that one of the strategies for this is to promote the Golden Cup contest, to continue showing the best productions of select coffees to buyers, as well as the places, the microclimate, the soil and the entire coffee process to those interested in acquiring the grain, and the inclusion model called Finca Total.
“With the concept of total farm we seek to integrate the rural coffee entrepreneur into the supply chain that is now redefined by the microclimate, to have united benefits… we want to create a new sales chain, to promote the commercialization of coffee through the platforms digital shopping, ”Massoud pointed out.
The fifteenth edition of the Golden Cup specialty coffee contest will be held between September and November of this year; space will be given to small and medium producers, producer associations, and organizations of Ecuador in order to determine which is the best crop of Arabica coffee in Ecuador in 2021 and also start selling through digital platforms and not only with prices established through the New York or London stock exchanges.
Currently, the country’s coffee production has two problems, which generates less foreign exchange income from the export of this bean.
The first, according to Pablo Pinargote, manager of Anecafé, is that Ecuador has a serious production deficit, since annually it generates about 300,000 bags of coffee, with an industry that each year requires having about three million quintals of this product, for what they have to import in order to complete the demand that these companies have both inside and outside the country.
The coffee leader alleges that already in the first five months of this year there is a slight improvement in production in relation to the same period of 2020, since in 2021 7,000 bags of 60 kilos of Arabica coffee were produced, 3,000 more bags in relation with 2020.
“The second approach is that the Ecuadorian industry has lost a lot of competitiveness due to its high transformation costs, electricity, water and fuel,” said Pinargote.
But there are expectations that by 2021, coffee exports will improve in relation to the last three years that have decreased, and in part it is due to the interest of producers to improve specialty coffee and give it a better utility in each hectare of coffee planted.
While in 2018 $ 81 million was exported from coffee sales, in 2019 it was $ 77.7 million and last year it reached $ 68.5 million, the lowest export figure of this product in the last 15 years, according to Anecafé statistics.
“We hope this year to reach $ 80 million in exports versus $ 68 million last year,” said Pinargote. (I)