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The importance of the standard of competence of the coffee taster.

The certification of competences of the Peruvian coffee taster satisfies a need of the bidders and employers in the coffee sector.

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Coffee is one of the main agricultural export products of Peru. Its coffee plantations exceed 425 thousand hectares, being the largest crop in the country. Which translates into being the second largest producer and exporter of organic coffee in the world, after Mexico.

In this value chain -from production to export- the taster is present, whose importance lies in the fact that they are in charge and authorized to evaluate and rate the work of coffee producers. They are responsible for ensuring the quality of the coffee, homogeneity of flavor and character in the coffees sold.

Given this, the main coffee buyers suggest that measures and actions be developed in Peru to guarantee the quality of the product, that is, standards that certify the competences of Peruvian coffee tasters.

These standards have the objective of increasing the level and consistency of coffee quality and through this increase the competitiveness and social and environmental sustainability of the Peruvian coffee value chain.


Fuente: Freepik

The problems that address the certification of the coffee taster are of a public nature and involve the need for an agro-export chain with greater economic and social development and state investment.

This certification refers to a government intervention for the attention and resolution of technical and commercial problems, and given this scope, it requires a good public-private articulation.

In general, the public problems that will be addressed with the standard are:

1) The need for an improvement in the competitiveness of the coffee value chain.
2) Informality and heterogeneity in the training, education and occupational evaluation of people for specific functions of the coffee value chain.
3) The scarce knowledge and application of the norms and quality standards.
4) Low capacity to generate income on the part of coffee producers for their families
5) Gap in access to education and insertion in the labor market
6) Existence in the market of coffees that do not meet minimum safety and quality standards
7) The need for an improvement in the country image of Peru as a supplier of high quality coffees

National Competitiveness and Productivity Plan

The Swiss Cooperation - SECO through its Program SeCompetitivo It has contributed technical assistance to the Peruvian Government for the formulation of this important Plan, and continues to support its implementation at the national and regional levels through the strengthening of various value chains.

The certification of competencies at the value chain level is important for the country, and that of the coffee taster is an occupation that is directly related to one of the main problems identified at the level of the "National Plan of Action for Peruvian Coffee , 2019-2030”, approved with Supreme Decree No. 010-2019-MINAGRI,“ low level of competitiveness and social and environmental sustainability of the Peruvian coffee value chain ”, and“ low level and inconsistency of coffee quality ”.




Coffee growers and replicas de relojes españa family members who have learned in the practice of their communities to taste coffee could have the opportunity to increase their income with a labor certification, since the formalization of their knowledge is attractive and valued in the sector, giving confidence to their “knowledge”.

In addition to the above, they would have social benefits such as recognition and appreciation of a trade that they forged throughout their lives. Consequently, the gap between them and those with an academic degree would be reduced. They would even be more motivated to pursue a higher level career path.

Based on the above, it can be affirmed that the certification of competences of the Peruvian coffee taster satisfies a need of the bidders and employers in the coffee sector. This certification is an alternative solution for the public problem of heterogeneity in the quality of technical educational service offered, and that generates excess income dispersion for different levels of education in the country (SUNEDU, 2020).

The standardization of the tasters competencies will allow the promotion of a new training offer at the level of Technical-Productive Education Centers (CETPRO) and Technological Higher Education Institutes (IEST), preferably in modalities that facilitate the compatibility of training with work.

In addition, the standard will contribute to ordering the curricular plans of educational entities on the subject of quality. At the same time, this ordering of the educational offer will contribute to generating more human resources prepared for the improvement of quality coffee production, which allows insertion in the so-called "Quality Infrastructure" promoted by INACAL.

Finally, it can be said that an increase in the quality and consistency of coffee, achieved by increasing the skills of the tasters, will improve the country's image of Peru as a supplier of quality coffee.


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Sources:
1) Pictures: Catas a la carta, Freepick, COFFEEIQ
2) Norma de competencia catador de café. 2021. Peruvian Chamber of Coffee and Cocoa.
3) Tueste. Café (2020). La importancia de la catación de café.