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Why Buencafé’s 50th anniversary was about the farmers

Buencafé

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Buencafé has launched a marketing campaign to support the coffee-growing communities that have contributed to its global success.

As Buencafé marked five decades in business in 2023, the Colombian coffee company chose to highlight the efforts of those who had helped it become one of the world’s leading instant coffee suppliers.

“We worked hard to involve every stakeholder in our production chain [in the celebrations], from coffee growers to our customers,” says Buencafé Commercial Director Manuel Mejia.

“Celebrating the anniversary with coffee growers was fundamental. More than 800 farmers visited our facility and witnessed the process of transforming green coffee into opportunities for more than 550,000 coffee-growing families.”

Buencafé’s mission can be traced back to 1973, when the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) saw an opportunity in the creation of a freeze-drying facility for Colombian coffee.

“The visionary pioneers [of the FNC] dedicated themselves to understand the needs of coffee growers and to looking out for their interests,” Mejia says.

“At the birth of Buencafé, the freeze-dried coffee market was taking its first steps in the world. Our primary objectives were to achieve an outstanding position in the instant coffee market and to continuously share the importance of the FNC with our clients.”

Mejia says it has been a privilege for Buencafé to support the distribution of Colombian coffee throughout the world. In 2023, it produced 6.83 billion cups of coffee.

“We have been a part of the industry for a long time, and we have grown with it, which has allowed us to build better opportunities for Colombian coffee growers,” he says.

For the farmers

In 2023, Buencafé launched a campaign to raise awareness of the social and environmental initiatives of the FNC to mark its 50th anniversary.

“We seek to be more than a coffee supplier, but an ally to help coffee growers achieve their goals by taking advantage of the project execution capacity of the FNC,” says Mejia.

Buencafé selected five leading coffee growers as Ambassadors of Sustainability as part of the FNC awareness campaign, with each grower representing one of the company’s project areas: water, education, reforestation, infrastructure, and food.

“We created artwork inspired by these farmers that were turned into postcards, which we sent to our customers to invite them to contribute and donate to ongoing projects impacting the areas where the coffee is grown,” Mejia says.

“Arts and culture transcend borders. We understand that the real connections and bonds created through art allowed us to connect with people who had never experienced the reality of coffee growers, so we created these postcards from each project line and made audio-visual content with a local production company.

“Together, we brought to the screen the story of the coffee growers and how their lives have been positively impacted through the five lines of projects that reach every corner of the coffee region thanks to the FNC, its allies, and its investors.”

One client, in conjunction with the project, decided to contribute to the improvement of local schools in Colombia, helping bring new bathrooms and infrastructure for the next generation. Another client helped implement water filtration systems in local coffee-growing areas, bringing clean and safe water to the community.

“Our process is circular. It starts with the coffee growers during the planting process, and circles back when 100 per cent of the profits from our sales are invested in their wellbeing,” Mejia says. “All of this is carried out with the fundamental objective of improving the lives of hundreds of people.”

The campaign was able to reach a multitude of key stakeholders and clients through social media.

“We are proud to say we have been able to establish connections not only with our allies and clients, but also with the people in our social circle on LinkedIn, which is currently our strongest network,” he says.

Mejia credits Buencafé’s clients in giving back to the coffee growing communities that produce Colombian coffee.

“After months of highlighting this content on our social networks through purpose-driven conversations, and via a solid email marketing strategy, we began to receive contributions that are now being implemented to benefit our coffee-growing families.”

Thinking ahead

The anniversary celebrations also served as a platform for Buencafé to promote its sustainability efforts, which focuses primarily on packaging.

“We are committed to eco-efficiency through the use of more planet-friendly packaging, such as natural fibre caps, recyclable packaging, and reducing the use of materials in our containers,” says Mejia.

He adds that Buencafé’s investment in renewable energy has demonstrated the company’s environmental commitment through concrete actions.

“In our administrative offices, we have adopted solar as our primary energy source,” he says. “Throughout 2022, we collected 17,000 cubic metres of rainwater for industrial service. Additionally, 97 per cent of our waste is reused in our processes.”

Buencafé’s commitment to growing the Colombian coffee community extended beyond its anniversary celebrations in 2023. The company also marked the expansion of its soluble coffee factory, allowing an increased packaging capacity to meet the needs of customers globally.

“We continue to think ahead, so we are already reviewing future options to continue growing our business while consolidating our position as leaders in the premium category of freeze-dried coffee,” says Mejia.

With anniversary celebrations now in the past, Mejia and the Buencafé team have goals in place to further uplift the farmers of Colombia.

“We are looking to maintain our coffee growers at the centre of our operations as we recognise that, thanks to them, we are able to share the best of Colombia with the entire world,” says Mejia.

Mejia highlights China, the Middle East and Latin America as markets Buencafé will target in the near future.

“We want to become the best alternative of premium soluble coffee for supermarket brands in all parts of the world,” he says.

“Today, we generate added value to the Colombian coffee industry, leading the market with cutting-edge technology and a vision full of optimism for the future.”

For more information, visit www.buencafe.com

This article was first published in the March/April 2024 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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