Coffee Quality Institute announces Leadership Medal of Merit recipients

The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) has awarded its corporate and individual Leadership Medals of Merit to environmental organisation Conservation International and Tecnicafé Director César Augusto Echeverry Castaño, respecitvely. The Leadership Awards were held at CQI’s annual luncheon during the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston, United States on 13 April. Conversation International received the corporate Leadership Medal for its 2015 partnership with Starbucks, which saw the companies launch the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. Bambi Semroc, Vice President of Sustainable Markets Strategy at Conservation International, says the Sustainable Coffee Challenge is composed of more than 116 partners working together to stimulate greater demands for sustainable coffee, the conservation of nature, and a continued supple of coffee. “We’re facing a tough market and climate challenges within the industry. Yet there’s incredible momentum and a desire to work together toward finding solutions. Each new partner, milestone, and recognition helps further this and reinforces the industry’s commitment in ensuring coffee is fully sustainable from crop to cup,” Semroc says. Castaño received the individual Leadership Medal for Tecnicafé’s coffee technology park in Popayán, Colombia. “I am very happy and enthusiastic to receive this important distinction, and I look forward to expressing my thanks and inviting the industry to join our network of open and collaborative innovation,” Castaño says. Tecnicafé serves as a technology-based incubator, experimental farm, and research centre, striving to help producers increase the value of their coffee. “The institution would not exist without the vision and leadership of César Echeverry, who worked tirelessly bringing together many organisations in partnerships to bring Tecnicafé to life,” says CQI Executive Director, David Roche.  The CQI is a non-profit organisation that works with international companies to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of people who produce it. For more information visit,

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