Meeting Members:
Over a cup of coffee with Supracafé

GCP speaks to Supracafé CEO Ricardo Oteros about the company’s sustainability goals and how pre-competitive collaboration is helping promote coffee sustainability.

Founded in 1990, Supracafé is a SME, specialising in the production, processing, roasting and marketing of high quality arabica coffees. For more than 30 years the company’s baseline has been to create a shared value model, focusing on close relationships with coffee producers to build quality and sustainability.

Accordingly, Supracafé established an alliance with the coffee growers’ cooperatives of Cauca, Colombia, through its exporting company Expocafé. It was within this framework that the company’s collaboration with a group of women emerged 20 years ago. Cauca is a region of Colombia with extraordinary natural wealth and ideal conditions for the production of high-quality coffee because of its altitude, latitude, volcanic soil and climate. In the region, there are more than 90,000 small producers, many of them women, working in one hectare of land on average. But not everything that shines is gold. Despite its geographical richness, Cauca has been an area surrounded by armed conflict and poverty for decades.

“Coffee growers from “Asociación de mujeres Caficultoras del Cauca” (AMUCC) are our main stakeholder group and we now have a strong partnership,” says CEO Ricardo Oteros. “By helping them to produce their coffee, we have been able to strengthen our supply chain with high quality coffee. Women are very careful at every step of the process and for us this is a stamp that guarantees the quality of the coffee production.”

Supracafé is now encouraging the increase in the production of specialty coffees, organic coffees, with greater added value, keeping in mind sustainability, innovation, quality and transparency as their main values. “That’s why we continue working with a multi stakeholder group of public and private institutions, to keep the efforts we have made during the last three decades right on track,” says Oteros, adding that the company’s efforts have been reinforced through collaboration including joining the first Coffee Technology Park – Tecnicafé to build, transfer and share technologies and knowledge created and through GCP membership.

“Being a member of the GCP helps us to be coherent with our own values and strategy in order to become a leading company in the sustainable coffee sphere.

Supracafé is aligning its work with the impact on the Sustainable Development Goal – specifically gender equity, poverty, innovation, climate and working condition. “the work we have been developing is much more holistic and ambitious and related to most of the SDGs. In addition, our approach takes into account SDG 17: Pursuing public-private alliances with different actors to work on solving social and environmental problems,” says Oteros.

This contribution forms part of a series called Meeting Members. Image credit: Supracafé