2003

Volume 6: Adding Value

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A gradual transition is taking place in Costa Rica toward a freer-trade-based, more complex economy that’s adding value not only to coffee and other agricultural products, but to people as well. It’s pretty exciting. Thirty years ago, when the country produced and exported only unfinished commodities or raw materials, a coffee picker’s son or daughter probably couldn’t have hoped for much more than to continue in the family tradition and become lifetime coffee pickers, themselves. Read more...


Volume 5: Southern Comfort: Small Growers Confront Crisis

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On a recent coffee-buying trip through Costa Rica’s remote Southern Zone I came across two dynamic examples of growers’ cooperatives whose “can do” attitude; focus on quality and hard work is cultivating a profitable, promising future despite their commodity-focused industry’s five-year-old financial crisis. Coopeagri of the southern hub-city of San Isidro de El General and Coope San Vito, a little farther south, unite more than 11,000 mostly small-scale growers who’ve abandoned their generations-old “commodity mentality.” These farmers are going after their share of the gourmet coffee market by working together to become more efficient, grow at higher elevations, modernize their mills and develop forward-looking, professional management. Read more...


Volume 4: 18th Anniversary: Café Britt Comes of Age

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1985. Oscar Arias was running as de presidential candidate in Costa Rica, conceiving a Central American peace plan that would take him to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union, starting a period that would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Read more...


Volume 3: Expotur: Time for New Products

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The last-minute madness that envelops Britt the week before Costa Rica’s largest tourism trade show, Expotur, was at its frenetic height this year, as our tourism, sales and special-event staff rallied to ensure our CoffeeTour coffee and new products were well-promoted. The May 24-30 show drew tour promoters from all over the world to chat with local sellers and learn about new offerings. The event’s 230 stands and carnival-like energy overwhelmed the Herradura Conference Center and is, arguably, the country’s best chance to ensure that Costa Rica’s tourism industry holds onto its coveted position as the country’s number-one income generator. Read more...


Volume 2: From the Plantation to the Cup: From Me to You

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I’m a firm believer that your mistakes are your best learning opportunities.  Our Wal-Mart experience is one of those. Café Britt started in 1986 as a company known only to Costa Ricans and Costa Rica residents. Read more...