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Juan Valdez

Good coffee seems to often come with the face of a mustached man accompanied by a donkey. Though Juan Valdez is a fictional character who borders the stereotypical, his face represents over 500,000 Colombian men who are part of the National Federation of Coffee Growers. Formed in 1927, the federation protects farmers from the threat of international prices falling by saving up any extra income when prices are high and therefore guaranteeing a steady salary throughout the year. In 1981 the logo of Juan Valdez took on the new role of distinguishing 100% Colombian coffee from mixed brands.

Thirteen years later, Juan Valdez made his first TV appearance along with his mule, Conchita, and ever since the trademark has become popular in pop culture. A non-profit organization, the National Federation of Coffee Growers, handles several programs for the economical and educational advancement of Colombian cafeteros and their families. Projects like sanitation of living environments, electricity installed, potable water installed, schools for both children and adults, among other things have helped strengthen the communities of coffee growers.

16 Feb 2012

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