Technical assistance to Colombia to promote more sustainable exports

Bogotá, 04 May 2023. Component 2 of AL-INVEST Verde presented in Bogotá, Colombia, the technical assistance it provides to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT), through ProColombia, to support the implementation of sustainable practices in the agro-industrial sector and meet the requirements of the European market in terms of sustainability, which will guarantee exports to the EU.

Through this collaboration, Colombian companies will be able to learn about European regulations affecting exports and receive support to adapt to their compliance. Priority products will be coffee, cocoa, cane sugar, palm oil, fresh fruit and flowers, and natural ingredients.


Luis Felipe Quintero, Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT).

During the launch event, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade of the MinCIT, Luis Felipe QuinteroHe hoped that Colombian agricultural products and agro-industry could meet the standards derived from the European Green Pact in order to maintain exports in a sustainable and sustained manner to the European market. "The aim is to prevent the Green Pact measures from becoming technical barriers to trade," he said.


Gilles Bertrand, EU Ambassador to Colombia.

For its part, the EU Ambassador in Colombia Gilles BertrandHe stressed that "the European Union is already the first destination for Colombian agricultural exports". "With this initiative, we are working to bring more sustainable and quality products from the Colombian countryside to European tables," he said.


Juliana Villegas, Vice President of Exports at ProColombia.

In her speech, the ProColombia's Vice President for Exports, Juliana Villegasexplained that "sustainability is a vital issue in our strategy to support the internationalisation of Colombian entrepreneurs, and in the Ministry's Reindustrialisation Policy for energy transformation towards sustainable productive development. Not only do products that have a positive impact on the environment and communities have a greater commercial opportunity in markets such as Europe, but they also obtain better prices for payment".

The partnership will be implemented through the Component 2 of the AL-INVEST Verde programme, which provides technical assistance to the public sector. Its director, Emilio Calvo, said that "this action was defined jointly with ProColombia, in coordination with MINCIT". "Its objective is to improving compliance and alignment with the European Green Pact of seven Colombian agro-export sectors which have high export quotas to the EU, so they can potentially be affected by the new EU market regulations if appropriate measures are not taken," he added.

The event was also attended by Gabriel Duque, director of the trade section of the Colombian Mission to the EU; Morgane Dejean and Simone Ravanelli, International Relations Officers at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Environment, who presented the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products and the European Green Pact, respectively; David Parejo and Reyes Farfán, from the consultancy Track Global Solutions, in charge of technical assistance; as well as institutional representatives of the Colombian Government, the EU and the coffee, sugar cane, cocoa and palm sector.

European Green Pact

The European Green Pact is supported by the 27 EU Member States, which have committed themselves to reducing emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The aim is to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. This agreement, together with the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Deforestation-Free Regulation, outline the sustainability requirements for export to the EU.

The technical assistance will include the preparation of a diagnostic study on the characteristics of the prioritised Colombian agro-industrial sectors and products, as well as the conditions for compliance with the regulations and sustainability standards required to export to the EU. Based on this study, the needs and opportunities of the prioritised sectors and products will be analysed, with the aim of proposing concrete actions for each one.

In addition, meetings with European importers, regional dialogue tables and two training actions on sustainability and exports are planned. An online course will be given to staff of ProColombia, MINCIT and the agro-industrial sectors, together with a closing technical seminar with public entities and representatives of trade unions, academia and companies in the prioritised agro-industrial sectors. The actions described above should take into account aspects of gender perspective, among other fundamental elements that are part of the good practices of sustainability of the companies.

Intensive agricultural and livestock production systems generate negative externalities, such as increased deforestation, reduced biodiversity and land grabbing, among others, which contribute to the depletion of natural resources and the advance of climate change. The aforementioned European initiatives advocate moving towards sustainability from production to consumption, so that international trade in products must comply with requirements that guarantee their sustainability.

About AL-INVEST Verde

AL-INVEST Verde is a European Union (EU) programme whose main objective is to promote sustainable growth and job creation in Latin America by supporting the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and more circular economy. Through Component 2, led by FIIAPP in consortium with IILA, the programme provides assistance for strengthening public policy and multi-stakeholder dialogues on sustainable agricultural and value chains, environmental and labour standards, as well as sustainable trade and economic policy and regulatory frameworks. 

Further information:

Presentación de asistencia técnica a Colombia