Coffee Network (Bogota) – In Colombia, not all truckers are striking as some drivers decided to continue working allowing coffee exporters to dispatch beans to ports.
Luis Carlos Burbano, director of a coffee cooperative in the southern province of Nariño, known as Asprounion, said he will dispatch 155 bags of 70kg to Buenaventura tomorrow because the truck company he hired is working .
In the province of Valle del Cauca, home to Buenaventura- where 60% of coffee gets exported, only small truckers are on strike.
The country’s coffee growers’ federation Fedecafe (FNC) has said 60% of the coffee shipments get exported though Pacific ports.
Ricarco Virviescas, director of the Colombian truckers’ association, told Coffee Network on Friday that some 296,000 trucks were likely to begin the stoppage but based on news reports not of them have joined the stoppage.
Virviescas said truckers’ have requested President Duque to stop an agreement with the US that aims to bring in US trucks that do not comply with environmental regulation.
Truckers have also said that the inclusion of Colombia to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE) is affecting truckers because OCDE demands from Colombia to lift regulation that forces to destroy an old lorry when a new one enters into the market.
Virviescas said the elimination of such regulation will create a greater supply of trucks in a market that is already saturated.
Last year, truckers strike for 21 days, resulting in 300 billion Colombian pesos (US $120 million) in losses.
Writing by Diana Delgado