Victor Prieto is tall, soft-spoken and sturdy as the mountains surrounding his 2 hectare FINCA EL CONSUELO, which he and his wife Cecilia have operated for 22 years. Their strength and dedication have allowed them to raise 9 children; all of them are respected professionals living in several cities of Colombia.
Victor turned his production to 100% organic 8 years ago based on caturra and tipica varieties.
One day, a troupial (Icterus icterus, the South American oriole) stopped at their farm, so the couple fed the bird and started caring for it. The bird became part of the household and every morning woke the Prietos with loud chirps and waited for their morning greetings.
Being such a tree-conscious person, Victor has always planted native species as shade for his coffee, so he was invited to get the Rain Forest Alliance certification. However, for two years he rejected the invitations, so his neighbors inquired about his motives and found that he considered that he was not eligible because he had a captive bird and he preferred to keep feeding the little bird than getting a certification. He finally registered when he received a document stating that he was not holding the troupial captive, but it was free to fly anytime.
Despite his poor writing and reading capabilities, Victor and Cecilia are totally committed with the quality control of their coffee and their farm, they personally select and process the beans and maintain their land, still finding time to keep their internal control registries and documentation.
Although the couple needs to hire help for harvesting, they oversee every step of the process. Otherwise, they personally conduct every step, from planting, weeding, making compost, and even harvesting. They have learned to select the best beans and to exercise extreme care in washing and drying.
Bottom line, it's all about the people!