STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International

Volume 4, Number 5

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14 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 5, 2015 (October/November) By Dan Bolton BOGOTA, Colombia Vélez graduated from the Universidad del Rosario (Colombia) in 1983, with postgraduate education at the University of Brighton in England and New York University. The son of coffee growers in Pereria, Vélez worked 20 years with FNC, beginning in 1985 and serving in many positions including director of Asian operations. He even- tually rose to the position of chief commercial officer. In 2008 he left FNC to work for the federal government and served as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, then Malaysia and most recently as Colombia's ambassador to Japan. In his acceptance speech he reaffirmed the basic mission of improving the liveli- hood of Colombia's coffee growers. "Coffee growers are the driving force behind all of our actions," he told the delegates. He is the eleventh c.e.o. to serve. STiR: As the new c.e.o. will you share your vision of FNC? Vélez: Our vision is to consolidate the Colombian coffee growing families' social development, while guaranteeing the sustainability of the coffee growing business and the positioning of Colombian coffee as the best in the world. STiR: What are your main priorities? Vélez: At the previous Colombian Coffee Growers Congress a new 2015-2020 Strategic Plan was developed to achieve a sustainable coffee industry through four strategic areas: economic, social, environmental and institutional. I will add my own emphasis on some of these initiatives, but we clearly have an institutional road map with key performance indicators. Roberto Vélez Colombian Coffee Growers Federation Q A In August economist Roberto Vélez was elected to lead the 550,000 families that comprise the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC). The new c.e.o. garnered a unanimous vote following a regimented selection process that began July 2. One of 19 applicants, he was shortlisted to a group of 8 by FNC's Coffee Growers Steering Committee. FNC, along with the National Coffee Growers Committee, agreed upon the final three candidates July 21. Vélez was elected Aug. 12 by 90 coffee grower representatives during the LXXXI Na- tional (Extraordinary) Congress of Coffee Growers. Delegates to the Congress were elected last year. He replaces Luis G. Muñoz who resigned in May. NEWS Colombian Coffee Growers elect Roberto Vélez c.e.o.

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