Founded on March 12, 1973, the Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Café (ABIC) was created because of the need to bring together the actions developed by the state Associations of the roasting industrial activity with the purpose of coordinating and defending their interests on a national basis. Since its creation, ABIC faced and continuous to face the challenge of offering better quality coffees to Brazilian consumers, guaranteeing purity, increasing consumption, with a fair price for the product.
In 1988 a survey was completed on the habits of Brazilian coffee consumers demonstrating that 67% of the consumers believed that “pure coffee was all – and unfortunately, domestic consumption was always frauded.”
In 1988 ABIC carried out another survey with the purpose of finding out the problems that coffee industries faced in all Brazilian regions. The survey unveiled most worrisome profile: a stagnated industry, technologically surpassed, composing an industrial infrastructure with an average age of 7.6 years.
It was mainly based on those two surveys that ABIC defined its strategic line of action which – from 1989 onwards – would put in practice to:
- To bring back product credibility, through the Self-policing Program and the launching of the Coffee Purity Control Permanent Program – Purity Seal.
- To develop a program with consumers, awakening a new mentality, based on the diversification in the quality of products and aimed at opening new consumption niches.
Launched in August 1989, two years before the Consumer Protection Code, the Coffee Purity Control Permanent Program would be a turning point for the industry. The reorganization of the industry was more than necessary and the only way to revert the increasingly sharper trend of drop in consumption.
The negotiations to formalize the Self-Policing Program between ABIC – at the time presided by Carlos Barcelos Costa — and the Brazilian Coffee Institute (IBC), at the time presided by Jório Dauster, began in 1986 and were completed on November 10, 1988, when Resolution No. 80 issued by IBC was enforced.
Through this Resolution, ABIC became responsible for inspecting the industry, paying all expenses to collect and analyze coffee samples in the whole Brazilian territory – which occurs up to now.
The main object of the Program was:
- To clean up the coffee industry, reducing fraud;
- To develop product credibility to the Brazilian consumer;
- To transmit to the public at large knowledge about the product;
- To return the per capita consumption to the 5.9kg/year level.
The entity created the Self-policing and Self-regulation Committee, with standards and conditions to obtain the right to use the Purity Seal.
When the program was launched, 319 companies representing 463 brands, responsible for processing 330,000 bags/month, were already part of the program.
At the time the program was implemented, more than 30% of the coffee brands analyzed evaded the legislation, or were with impurities above the acceptable limits, or with the addition of a mixture of other substances.
The program was successful. Currently less than 5% of the brands are impure or adulterated, and they represent only one percent of the coffee volume sold in the domestic market. The excellent results obtained with the Purity Seal are a clear demonstration that exercising the self-regulation is a reality.