By RACHAEL BOOTHROYD
Liverpool, June 15th 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – In a bid to provide more protection for coffee-producers and to deepen its initiatives to secure national food sovereignty, the Venezuelan government has approved the creation of a state-run coffee chain.
The chain, which will be called Venezuela Coffee: Shops and Services, was announced in the latest official gazette and will facilitate and coordinate economic activities related to the national coffee industry such as cultivation, selling and exportation. The gazette also states that the new chain will be an affiliate of the government’s Venezuelan Coffee Corporation.
According to the information published in the gazette, the chain will be responsible for the “buying, selling, commercialisation, manufacturing and semi-manufacturing of agricultural and agro-industrial products destined for human consumption, [as well as] the production, cultivation, harvesting, preparation and selling of coffee of all different quality and types”.
Once one of the main sources of the country’s national income, the Venezuelan coffee industry was weakened following the discovery of oil in the early twentieth century. In recent years the government has attempted to stimulate the industry once more, launching a Cafe Venezuela brand, which is sold at supermarkets and a series of popular state-run coffee shops which sell cups of coffee, cakes and patisserie items at a reduced price. The government has also taken over a series of coffee companies and manufacturers, such as Fama de America, who were engaging in speculation and hoarding.
Th announcement of the new chain comes after the government revealed that production at Cafe Venezuela had reached over 981 tonnes in 2012, an increase of 145% since 2010 when the company produced only 400 tonnes.