Remarks of Ambassador Jean Manes
2nd International Conference for Sustainable Coffee
September 19, 2017
San Salvador, El Salvador
** This translation is provided as a courtesy. Only the original Spanish language text should be considered authoritative.
This morning we give launch the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Coffee. I want to emphasize the key point in this title: Sustainable. Sustainability is important because in order to be able compete in a global market — to compete with the massive coffee producers — it is essential that Salvadoran coffee introduces additional value to its product that distinguishes it from its competition and makes it stand out.
This is the commitment of the Coffee Rehabilitation and Agricultural Diversification project, which has been seeking to innovate the coffee industry since the planting of the first bean. Their sustainable production approach seeks to protect the environment, foster a generation of employment, empower coffee farmers, and support the consumer. Because the modern Salvadoran consumer sees beyond price, and even beyond taste.
The modern Salvadoran consumers do not buy a product, they buy a story.
They don’t only buy a cup of coffee, they buy an experience, and they want their experience to align with their values.
The don’t buy coffee; they buy into coffee companies that have integrated these values into the core of their business model.
This is evident. In recent years, consumption of sustainable coffee has been increasing, up to five times more than the consumption of conventional coffee — Five times more!
High quality coffee is increasingly following the wine tendency. Just as in the wines the origin of the grape is traced, in coffee it becomes increasingly important to be able to trace the origin of the bean. And the global competition in coffee production is challenging, but El Salvador has already been a giant in this market and has the possibility to do it again by focusing on the quality and sustainability of its bean. You can look forward, and take advantage of the weight that your name already has in the coffee industry.
The U.S. government is convinced that coffee has a future in El Salvador if it can be distinguished from other producing countries through agricultural innovation. And that is why we have different initiatives that aim to innovate this traditional crop. For example, the Cup of Excellence program that took place this year has helped put El Salvador’s coffee in a privileged place among coffee buyers around the world. Also, we supported the establishment of a “World Coffee Research” center in Santa Ana; an organization with a global presence that seeks to develop a high quality rust-resistant grain.
In El Salvador, sustainability in agricultural properties, especially coffee plantations, is essential for the environment. Because the coffee plantations in El Salvador are the main water collectors for aquifers. This innovation and integral approach is part of the story El Salvador’s coffee. It is part of the brand country that El Salvador is selling with every yard, with each cup. And the question we have to ask is: what is the story you want to tell?
What is the story you want to tell about El Salvador? What is the image that a person will have when they have a cup of Salvadoran coffee.
That is the question. And it’s the reason why there are so many people committed to this coffee culture, not just governments, but also coffee growers like you.
**This translation is provided as a courtesy. Only the original Spanish language text should be considered authoritative.