Monday, August 16, 2004

On Selling Coffee: Reuters reports on the travails of Peru's coffee industry through the travails of the Marin family, coffee growers since the 1940s, who have "survived near financial ruin and even terrorism to win acclaim for their coffee." In June, they won Europe's World Coffees competition, (at the World Ethnic and Specialty Food Show); earlier this year, "they began selling their beans to U.S. coffee chain Starbucks Corp." ALSO: Peru, South America's No. 3 coffee producer, is gradually improving the overall quality of its key agricultural export, but still only a handful of growers sell to gourmet buyers rather than to Lima-based exporters." CITED: the Villa Rica Highland cooperative; Dagoberto Marin Ludeña; and Justo Marin Ludeña (president of Peru's specialty coffee association, Asociación Peruana de Cafés Especiales) who admits that "Our coffee still has some minor defects, such as dry or slightly damaged beans." NOTE: "Some Peruvian coffee farmers do not even receive the market price because they lack equipment to process their beans and can only sell to local intermediary buyers." SEE ALSO: This list of other Peruvian coffee exporters; a 2002 story on coffee by Lucien Chauvin; and articles on the Chanchamayo Coffee Cooperative here and here in the Coffee Contact. Order your Villa Rica coffee here or here.

Toledo’s Numbers Double: Bloomberg and Dow Jones report on Sunday’s Apoyo Opinion y Mercado SA poll that had Toledo’s popular support at 10% support in August compared with 8% in July. Dow Jones adds Friday’s University of Lima poll which shows Toledo with 15.2% support in August, compared with just 7.1% in July. NOTE: Bloomberg and Dow Jones both quote Apoyo's Alfredo Torres saying “that Camisea project is an ‘energetic shock’ that raises the people's confidence in authority.” Dow Jones offers a slice of a separate Apoyo poll on the 2006 presidential contenders, noting only that “Alan Garcia has weakened, with his disapproval rating rising to 62% in August from 54% the month before.” (See next item for more on this poll.) SEE ALSO: 'Polls & Polls' in August 14's Peruvia.

Polling 2006: Canada’s Centre for Public Opinion and Democracy reports on the Apoyo Opinion y Mercado SA poll that appeared in El Comercio which showed “24% of respondents would vote for Valentín Paniagua, while 20% would support Alan García. … Lourdes Flores Nano is third with 20%, followed by Lima mayor Luis Castañeda with 9%.” While the poll did not include Fujimori’s name, it did include the names of Antauro Humala, Alex Kouri, Jaime Salinas, Yehude Simon, and Fernando Olivera. CPOD also highlights the annual Latinobarómetro poll on the popularity of Latin American states which shows President Alejandro Toledo with 8%, “the lowest rating in the 18 countries surveyed.” SEE ALSO: For more information on the Latinobarómetro poll, see ‘Polls & Polls’ in August 14’s Peruvia.

Tragedy Near Cuzco, cont.: Washington States’ Columbian reports that “three Vancouver residents who were injured in a bus accident in Peru last week will be coming home today.” SEE ALSO: ‘Tragedy Near Cuzco’ in August 13’s Peruvia.

Peruvian Jockeys: Kentucky’s Herald-Leader has an article on Peruvian jockey Rafael Bejarano, “the hottest item in Kentucky racing” who “in time he might also become the most sought-after rider in the nation. Bejarano, 22, is steadily working his way toward that level: His stated goal always was to become the next Edgar Prado, his Peruvian countryman and hero.

Calling Peru: BEA Systems, Inc. announced in a press release that TIM Peru, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia Mobile, has built and deployed its new One Call call-center solution on BEA WebLogic Platform(TM) 8.1.”

Copa America Reviewed: South Africa's News 24 offers a full review of Copa America which "reinforced all the classic perceptions of South American football; breath-taking individual skill, athleticism and the use of some rather sinister defensive techniques, which combined to treat fans to a fiesta of attacking football." NOTE: At the close of the final match between Brazil and Argentina, "with darkness spreading across the arena, deafening chants of 'Brasil, Brasil' were slowly replaced by 'Obregado, Peru; Obregado Peru' [sic] as the Brazilian fans danced in delight."

Travel Through 7 Countries: The Guardian has a rambunctious travel piece about a road trip with 20 other people, organized by Exodus. The journey (which runs four times a year, and either starts in Quito travelling anticlockwise to Rio or starts in Rio and ends in Quito) is all on a "13-year-old, beige coloured Mercedes 1620" and goes through seven countries (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil), with "300 litres of purified water, cooking equipment, 15 tents and many other apparently useless bits and pieces that suddenly become essential when you break down in the middle of the Atacama desert." NOTE: "The first night's camping, which came after four days at Punta Sal in northern Peru, was always going to be an unusual experience." Other highlights: Machu Picchu on Christmas Day; Colca Canyon, the floating Uros islands of Lake Titicaca.

Free Trade? The Miami Herald, in an article that focuses on trade disputes between the USA and Ecuador, cites a parallel situation in Peru. "Former Florida Secretary of Commerce Charles Dusseau was on the board of Telinfor, which was involved in a similar trade dispute with the Peruvian phone company, Telefónica de Peru. The heavy lobbying to write conditions into the 2002 Andean Trade Preference Act put Ecuador and Peru on notice, Dusseau said. But it did not change the situation overnight. 'We got a pittance of what we thought they owed us,' Dusseau said. Hearing that another Miami company and the Ecuadorean phone giant were locked in a dispute, Dusseau had some advice: 'Our dispute went on for five years. Tell them to pack a lunch'."

Free Trade? II: The Voice of America offers an editorial on the USA’s economic policy, particularly on free trade, which includes Peru in a list of countries named. The article’s preface states that it “reflect[s] the views of the United States Government” and cites President George W. Bush who says free trade "is not just an economic opportunity, it is a moral imperative.”

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