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Implementing an Innovative Geographical Indications Traceability System: Café de Villa Rica in Peru

In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), Koltiva is transforming the coffee industry in Peru with an innovative Geographical Indications (GI) traceability system for Café de Villa Rica. The collaboration between Koltiva and IPI started in April 2021, with financing from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). This collaboration focused on strengthening the use of Intellectual Property Rights in Peru, and set to contribute to higher competitiveness, boost the added value of Peruvian products, and have an overall positive impact on Peruvian economic development.

The District of Villa Rica is located on the eastern slopes of the Andes with abundant rainfall and mild temperatures. Café de Villa Rica stands as a beacon of specialty coffee and authenticity in Peru. The 1100 coffee producers in the district of Villa Rica grow and produce high-quality arabica coffee beans, registered under the GI, which recognizes the local natural and human factors, guaranteeing the product's excellence. Producers are organized into eight cooperatives, and coffee is processed and roasted directly in Villa Rica. Coffee from Villa Rica is currently exported to Specialty Coffee roasters in Germany and other international markets.

Café de Villa Rica is amongst the 10 protected GIs in Peru along with other products, such as Aceituna de Tacna’ (olive), ‘Cacao Amazonas Perú’ (cocoa), ‘Café Machu Picchu-Huadquiña’ (coffee beans grown close to the historical sites of Machu Picchu), ‘Loche de Lambayeque’ (a fruit/pumpkin used in sweet and salty preparations), ‘ and Maca Junin-Pasco (Maca root from Brassicaceae family). This means that these products are protected against imitations and usurpation. Improving the competitiveness and adding value to the Peruvian products is paramount, thus it is key to ensure: 1) the traceability of the products and 2) a quality control system is in place for sustainable coffee farming within the guidelines of the GI. This recognition functions as a market product differentiator by enabling consumers to distinguish between products with geographical origin-based characteristics and others without those characteristics.

Reto Meili, Project Coordinator of IPI, says, “Coffee is still largely a commodity with different origins and producers competing against each other for prices on the global markets. The Geographical Indication is a tool that helps to differentiate and de-commodify coffee by highlighting and protecting the unique characteristics of each high-quality coffee origin, making reference to its cultural and natural environment. Naturally, traceability is important for GI-certified products. In an increasingly sophisticated specialty coffee market, quality, origin, sustainable production, and traceability are becoming more important. The traceability system will help the producers of Café Villa Rica to profile the producers, control quality, ensure traceability, certify members, and thereby access differentiated markets.”

KoltiTrace, our innovative traceability and quality control system, underpins Café de Villa Rica's journey to enhanced market access for GI coffee. This system meticulously mapsthe coffee from farm to cup, validating its origin and attributes. Regionally, the system also benefits the cooperatives and SMEs to be EUDR compliant in the future. Field staff from the regulatory council and regional associated producer organizations harness the power of the KoltiTrace MIS mobile application. They register, map, and provide tailored training to producers, empowering them with knowledge and tools for excellence.

Koltiva training on coffee traceability using KoltiTrace.Koltiva training on coffee traceability using KoltiTrace.

Meanwhile, business operators streamline operations with the KoltiTrace MIS mobile application. The system ensures transparency and efficiency at every step, from processing coffee cherries according to GI quality standard, recording fresh coffee purchases by cooperatives and SMEs, to seamless deliveries to roasters and coffee traders. Our integrated management system helps monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), verify Land Use and Zero-Deforestation and trace Transactions from the farm to cup.

Koltiva training on coffee traceability using KoltiTrace.

"As global demand for sustainably sourced coffee continues to rise, Villa Rica has prioritized transparency and accountability throughout every stage of coffee processing. This commitment not only fosters trust among consumers but also empowers producers to command premium prices for their high-quality beans. The adoption of KoltiTrace provides invaluable data that can drive improvements in farming practices, optimize processing methods, and address sustainability challenges, thereby bolstering the overall competitiveness of Villa Rica's coffee sector. In February 2024, the members of the regulatory council and interested producers underwent comprehensive training in the utilization of KoltiTrace." affirms Pamela Aquino, Customer Success Officer at KOLTIVA in Peru. "This initiative marks a significant moment in ensuring the integrity and prosperity of Café de Villa Rica and the broader Peruvian coffee industry."

Through the Peruvian-Swiss Intellectual Property Project, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) stands as a steadfast ally of the Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development (SECO) and the National Institute of the Defense of Competition and Intellectual Property Protection (INDECOPI) to bolster Villa Rica Coffee and the Peruvian coffee sector at large in leveraging GI certification and unlocking added value. Through strategic interventions and training sessions, stakeholders are equipped to harness the full potential of the KoltiTrace system.

As Café de Villa Rica continues to flourish under the banner of Geographical Indications, powered by our holistic technology, KoltiTrace, the future of Peruvian coffee shines brighter than ever. Currently, there are 53 commodities using KoltiTrace. Koltiva continuously updates KoltiTrace to meet the increasing regulatory demands and needs of supply chain actors, globally.


About Writer:

Writer: Silvan Ziegler, Head of Markets Americas at Koltiva

Editor: Boby Hermawan, Head of Digital Marketing at Koltiva

As Head of Markets for the Americas at Koltiva, Silvan Ziegler leads teams in six Latin American countries driving the development of traceable, transparent, and sustainable supply chains. Silvan has over 15 years of international development experience with in-depth knowledge in the cocoa and coffee sectors in Latin America and has a big passion for promoting sustainable value chains and creating a positive impact for smallholder producers.


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