Coffee: Bill Rejection Increases

In Costa Rica, the business sector is opposed to a proposed law that would give Icafé the power to impose requirements and controls on the processes of supplying the raw material necessary for grain production.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Since the beginning of the year it was announced that for the current period the Legislative Assembly plans to discuss bill 21.163, which aims to transform the powers of the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (Icafé). At that time, groups of coffee roasters and representatives of industries in the sector demonstrated against it.

You may be interested in "Coffee: Regional Sales up to March 2019"

Arguing that the bill will limit the fundamental freedom to trade locally and internationally, the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce (CCCR), the Costa Rican Chamber of Foreign Trade and Representatives of Foreign Houses (CRECEX), the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry (CACIA) and the Costa Rican Consumers Association have also joined the group that rejects the initiative.

José Manuel Hernando, president of the Chamber of Coffee Roasters, believes that "... currently 80% of the national grain is sold at very high prices in international markets and the other 20% remains for the domestic market. That 20% only manages to supply 50% of the raw material needs of the national roaster, which requires importing the other 50% of its raw material, in order to adjust production costs, to be able to compete and offer the national consumer different varieties, adjusted to all types of family budgets".  If the proposal is approved, the roasters announce that in the future there will be obstacles to imports with the consequent damage to their ability to compete with other coffees that are already imported and to bring affordable prices to much of the population.

Yolanda Fernández, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce, believes that "... it seems abusive and disproportionate the way ICAFE wants those of us who trade and import coffee to have to make previous records of our private negotiations and also ask for authorization to be able to trade according to our price contracts with suppliers. Even more serious is that Article 117 gives police power to ICAFE officials to invade our private property, confiscate product, take away transportation units and other assets, if we do not comply with these types of mandates, these officials being labor dependents of a board of directors that is judge and party in the conflicts and in clear violation of freedom of trade."

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Coffee: Bill Rejected

January 2020

Costa Rican businessmen are opposed to the bill that gives Icafé the authority to impose requirements and controls on the processes of supplying the raw material necessary for grain production.

In the current period, the Legislative Assembly plans to discuss bill 21.163, which aims to transform the powers of the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (Icafé), but the business sector anticipates that the proposed modifications will lead to a rise in the prices of the product.

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For the 2017-2018 season, imported coffee consumed in the country represented 18% of demand, but for the 2018-2019 cycle that proportion increased to 45%, being Nicaragua and Honduras the main suppliers of the grain.

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