Preserving a family business and looking after the environment: Café Monteverde, Honduras

November 27, 2020

Currently, around the world, around two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Most of the coffees that we enjoy are produced by families in countries with a long tradition of coffee production. Some of these families have dedicated over generations to produce high quality coffee and successful businesses. This article relates to a unique coffee producing family business in Honduras, Central America. Cafe Monteverde is a family business established in 1985. It was started by Omar Osorio with the planting of the first coffee land plots of the Catuaí variety* on the La Porra farm on the Sierra de Montecillos, a mountainous stretch in the central coffee region in Honduras – home to some of the best coffees produced for export in the country. Currently the La Porra farm is owned and managed by two generations of the Osorio family. The Osorio family produces, harvests and roasts coffee for local and international markets. The La Porra farm comprises approximately 30 hectares and is located between 1,365 to 1,411 meters above sea level. The average temperature in these altitudes helps to produce a unique environment that influences the quality of coffee harvested. Such geographical location is important as precipitation in the farm ensures that water is available throughout a year, which eliminates the risk of water deficit that could be detrimental for quality of coffee beans produced. For more than a decade the farm’s coffee harvest was sold to local exporters. Yet in 1996, family members identified that the Honduran consumer did not have the opportunity to obtain and enjoy high quality coffees. Thus, they set out to develop a coffee aimed at local consumers who were beginning to demand coffees with high quality attributes. Since 1996 the demand for Café Monteverde has experienced an average yearly increase between 15 to 20% in sales. The family attributes such success to the promotion made by consumers locally but also internationally. Café Monteverde does not invest in marketing yet constantly receives messages from the United States asking how they can get their products in their homes and stores. Certifications, the environment and the social impact of a coffee producing family The La Porra Farm is certified under the Rainforest Alliance seal, an international certification that benchmarks Café Monteverde against a standard that combines social and environmental principles. For the Osorio family, having café Monteverde certified matters as it signals that the farm not only meets their family desire for environmental stewardship but also that working conditions in terms of wages, personal and social security of labourers complies with international expectations. Gabriela Osorio, member of the second generation of the Osorio family, expressed “When you buy our coffee you are supporting an initiative of fair treatment with the workers who are employed in the farm. On average our employees receive a salary that is 46% higher than that normally paid in the farms of the region or in the coffee sector.” Moreover, the farm is managed based on the application of traditional and novel agronomic practices, introduced by Omar Osorio and uphold by the second generation. One of the key goals of […]

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Beyond Convention: Rethinking Qualitative Research in Family Business

November 16, 2020

Qualitative research embraces a range of paradigmatic lenses, methods, means of inference and theorizing styles. Despite its promising diversity, Family Business (FB) scholarship has mainly followed the convention of inductive exploration. While conventions are important for legitimizing academic discourses, they are also meant to be problematized so as to help FB researchers capture changing phenomena and drive the field forward. The purpose of this seminar is to question the disciplinary convention and offer alternatives on qualitative research in FB scholarship. DATE: November 26, 2020 TIME: 4.00 PM (CET) Watch the webinar:    

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