Colombia: coffee as a force of prosperity

In Santander, Colombia, the birthplace of the Kachalù coffee, young people receive thorough training, with access to innovative technologies. At the same time, the sustainable coffee production is ensuring better income. Result: a close-knit community, work in their own region, and new opportunities.
October 2014 - February 2018
EUR 20,000/year
Colombia

The first steps

A delegation from Colruyt Group and EFICO, our sustainable coffee supplier, visited coffee farmers in Colombia in late 2003. They were looking for a permanent way to support them. The community was lacking in basic education, job opportunities, and job security.

The year after, Colruyt Group started purchasing Kachalù coffee. This mean there was now a stable market for the Colombian coffee manufacturers. The next step was to renovate a school in the region, with a new dining hall and a computer class.

This was the birth of a new educational project by the Collibri Foundation, in collaboration with EFICO Foundation. Since 2004, we have set up two projects in the Kachalù region: one concerning sustainable development and a second one that focused on ICT.

Education for the future

The third project, called 'Education for the Future' was started in 2014 and guides and supervises about a hundred students between age 15 and 26 of the Florentino Gonzales Rural School. The goal of this project? Initiate the students in the practice and theory of coffee production, with major focus on IT, entrepreneurship and self-confidence.

In 2016, 25 teachers were trained regarding computer use in the classroom. This allowed them to adjust their classes to the new computer materials gifted by Efico Foundation and Collibri Foundation.

79 youths already took part in the productivity and sustainability programmes. At the same time, 60 projects were launched that boost the coffee production, resulting in about 100,000 new plants. In two years' time, the average production doubled, which boils down to 10 bags of 125 kg per plantation.

Personal development is also focused on. Here, focus lies on the violence that is characteristic of some areas in Colombia. 36 youths took part in workshops that are intended to identify the root of the problem.

Honest commercial chain

Since we purchased the Kalachù coffee beans for the first time in 2004, we have continued to support the coffee branch in this region.

Colruyt Group roasts its own coffee under the brand name Graindor. It is our goal to make this coffee as sustainable as possible. The Kachalù coffee is 100 % arabica coffee, organics and Rainforest Alliance certified, and therefore eminently suitable to a production that respects the environment.

Small coffee farmers that make an effort to be sustainable are greatly rewarded. They are supervised so they can perfect, among other things, their agricultural techniques and improve both their production and the quality of their product. Result: they get a price above market value and help the local young people by creating job security.

At the same time, the influx of highly educated young coffee farmers from the educational project is also good for the coffee production. The social and economic aspects reinforce each other in an enriching interaction.

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Collibri Foundation

Address

Colruyt Group
Edingensesteenweg 196
1500 Halle

Phone

+32 (0)2 363 55 45
during office hours