Coffee exporters in Colombia, the world’s top producer of washed arabica, are bracing for a possible truckers strike in the coming weeks, just seven months after they last blocked highways and sent coffee exports plunging by 60 percent.
Exporters scrambled to meet contracts during the 45-day truckers strike last year, as green coffee rotted on roadsides and storage facilities overflowed with stalled shipments.
The strike was called off after the government and truckers’ unions reached a deal on the gradual removal of old vehicles, a new pension plan and cargo costs.
But truckers groups say the government has failed to hold up its end of the deal, spooking exporters and transport companies wary of a repeat of last year.
“We’re trying to ship as much coffee as possible early,” Carlos de Valdenebro, Colombia director for Caravela Coffee, told Reuters. “Bigger warehouses were built and rented this year, so we can store larger amounts if needed.”
“Why should the whole country have to kneel to them? It makes no sense,”…