Luis Miguel Garcia

Cooperative of coffee growers of Anserma

Luis and family, his wife, Paula Arango and daughter, Elena Garcia with Amanda Ospina, Horacio Betancur and Coco (the dog)

My name is Luis Miguel Garcia. I was born in Pereira and grew up in Manizales, both part of the traditional Coffee Triangle in Colombia. My first job was in the National agricultural stock market where I worked for a year, and then I started to work in 2005 in the National Coffee Grower Federation, at their freeze-dried coffee Factory “Buencafé”, where I worked in several areas: Logistics, financial, administrative and sales. I worked for a year in Buencafe´s office in New York, in 2013.

At the end of 2016, I started to work as general manager of the Cooperative of coffee growers of Anserma, starting to work seeking for the welfare of more than 2,100 coffee growers in the south-west Caldas, in Colombia.

Contest “Caldas cafes de alta calidad”, 2017. Auction.Coffee Grower: Alejandro Martinez (red cap).

I applied all the knowledge I’ve learned, looking to grow the cooperative. There is a lot of value in quality coffee. Fairtrade empowers our organisation to take it. With the social Premium, we improve the capacities of the organisation, to be more efficient and give better prices and services for the members.

It is very satisfying to know that all the achievements we get, goes directly for people that really need them. That is why I wake up every day to go and work with passion.

Vision for coffee growers

I believe that small grower organisation need to think big. We need to work like any other Company to be sustainable; For us, sustainability is beyond economics; it’s also environmental and social. It´s just that Fairtrade gives us the tools to get there.

I prefer Fairtrade from other certifications because it focuses more in the community than the individual, and that matches with the values of a Cooperative, where all of us work as individuals for the improvement of all as a group.

Fairtrade Premium Use

In the last 3 years, we received more than a million dollars in Fairtrade premium, that we have invested programs such as:

  • Training programs, environmental care, gender equity
  • Reforestation (30,000 trees planted)
  • Annual school kit (4,429 kits)
  • Provision of Life insurance
  • Fixing pulping machines (1,575 services)

Capacity Building

  • Technical assistance for 2,100 associates.
  • 770 Soil Analysis, 129 pulping machines.
  • 30,104 mts for plastic for greenhouses (321 coffee Growers)
  • 3,310 loans for fertilizer at 0% interest rate.
  • 327 Mechanical drying silos for members, 270 Pulp water cleaning systems
  • 128 Onsite sewage systems
  • 150 water supply tanks for the farm
  • 6,000 bags of Fertilizer for members
  • 625 Personal protection equipment

Gerardo Ospina, 1st place in the internal quality contest you the 480 anniversary of Anserma. (2019)