What distinguishes your company from others?
We consider ourselves a highly responsible company, taking great care of people and planet. It all starts with our staff, who we not only guarantee fair working conditions, but also provide a financial service fund where they can hold their savings and benefits for an above average interest rate. Moreover, members can borrow money from the fund for emergencies, for education purposes, and to build or repair their homes. Over the years the fund has helped staff that do not own their own homes to build ones for themselves. Through this program, the fund purchases suitable plots of land, divides them, builds internal roads, installs water and sewer systems, and finally, provides electricity and phone networks. Once this process is complete, the fund sells the lots to members at below market value, it helps members find and access any available construction subsidies, and it offers them competitive loans for the construction of their home.
We also offer 8 university scholarships each semester to our staff and their children. Scholarship recipients may receive up to 100% of their tuition fees starting the second semester for the local university or college of their choosing. To receive the scholarship the following semester, students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress. Through this program, more than 9 students have graduated so far with degrees in Psychology, Physiotherapy, Business Administration, Industrial Engineering, Aviation, Logistics, and Computer Networks among others.
That sounds amazing! You said earlier you take care of people and planet, how do you care for the planet?
Our commitment to protecting the environment goes well beyond our responsible operating practices and our sustainable use of water and energy; we aim to give as much back to nature as we can. With this in mind, we have planted around 7,000 hardwood trees in our six-hectare farm in Anapoima, Cundinamarca. Species include: Teak, Melinas, and Mahogany, which is critically endangered in Colombia. The Melinas have been planted specifically to provide a sustainable raw material to manufacture our wooden pallets, which are used for overseas transport.
We care greatly for the biodiversity in our nature, which is why we actively contribute to the Fundación Nacederos. This foundation acquires land for reforestation purposes with native species and the preservation of national water sources.
Is that why your company logo is a bee?
The bee has become a symbol of the steps we take in our entire production process. When we first heard that bees were dying in many parts of the world because of certain insecticides, we immediately stopped using them. We even went a step further and significantly reduced all pesticide use on our fields and our partner grower’s farms through intense research efforts. Since then, we have successfully replaced several chemically synthesized pesticides with more organic control methods and started a 100% organic farm, hoping this agricultural model would provide us the technology to produce a larger percentage of our fruit in the future.