The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) celebrated its 88th anniversary last week. To coincide with Colombia’s National Coffee Day, 27 June, the FNC ran cultural and academic activities throughout the country. The FNC said the reason for the celebration was to celebrate coffee growers and thank them for their hard work and contribution to Colombia’s economy. Celebrations include coffee-tastings, cultural activities and informative sessions about different coffee origins. Coffee growers formed the FNC in 1927 as a way of ensuring they were represented on a national and international level. Coffee growers elect their peers to make important industry decisions on their behalf. This allows the FNC to develop common policies, sustainability projects and even promotional campaigns. Since its formation it has become one of the largest rural NGOs in the world. Today it represents more than 550,000 coffee growing families. Over the past 88 years, the FNC has implemented a number of services in order to transfer greater value to Colombia’s coffee sector. This includes offering coffee growers the possibility of purchasing their crop every day at a market price. The aim is to enhance the negotiation power of individual producers with domestic buyers in Colombia´s 590 coffee growing communities. Cenicafé, the FNC´s National Coffee Research Center, has developed technologies to increase farmer’s productivity and sustainability. This involves focusing on coffee crop renovation through coffee leaf rust resistant varieties that are better adapted to climate change. More than 1500 technicians work with growers on the ground to transfer the knowledge generated by Cenicafé. “Colombia´s dramatic improvement in average productivity and harvest size in recent years is one of the most important collective FNC achievements,” said the FNC. “Over the past few years, 3.3 billion trees have been renewed throughout the country.” Coffee represents 17 per cent of Colombia’s Agricultural Gross Domestic Product, with 33 per cent of the rural population in Colombia growing coffee.