Colombian coffee is known the world over for the richness of its varieties and flavors. But the country’s coffee growing industry is in the midst of challenging times that require fresh thinking. That is why the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) has put out a global open innovation call for help.
The challenge is called “CoffeepickINN” and it is a search for innovative solutions to make selective coffee harvesting in Colombia more efficient and profitable.
“What we want is to generate shared value between the proponents and the FNC through joint development of innovations that solve the problem of high labor costs in coffee harvesting in Colombia, aiming at higher profitability of producers,” said the FNC CEO, Roberto Velez.
Coffee Industry Challenges
Coffee growing represents around 23% of the agricultural GDP in Colombia, and more than 7% of overall exports. However, the cost of coffee production is high, and a part of that is the cost of labor.
Additionally, qualified manual labor is becoming scarce in some rural areas for a variety of reasons, including the fact that younger coffee pickers have left the industry to find other jobs.
This open innovation challenge is directed at entrepreneurs, companies and researchers and the solutions with the most promise will receive resources (in cash and in kind) to develop them throughout the country.
For more information about the open innovation challenge, watch the video below and click here go to CoffeepickINN’s website. Participants have until September 29 to submit their solutions.