Consumers in the U.S. will soon be able to buy specialty coffee from Venezuela in Citgo gas stations. Citgo is a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Pdvsa, and its charitable donations of heating oil in the U.S. are well known. Now, Citgo is helping bring small producers in Venezuela to the global stage by carrying Café Venezuela, a brand of coffee that comes from farming cooperatives under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Café Venezuela was founded to assist coffee growers in rural Venezuela by packaging their products and delivering them to consumers abroad. It is comprised of small and medium coffee producers, mostly on family farms and in communities that have historically suffered from economic marginalization.
The company is aimed at helping Venezuelan farmers to prosper, but its goals also include maintaining traditional lifeways in the countryside, fostering environmental sustainability, and achieving food security. Behind these goals is a simple commercial relationship that also has cultural significance; the slogan of Café Venezuela appropriately reads: “from the grower to your cup.”