Behind the Beans: Hildebrando Cárdenas, Oro Verde

Behind the Beans

About “Behind the Beans”

Since cumpa was founded, we have got to know many exciting personalities from the coffee world and made friends. In “Behind the Beans”, we want to introduce you to them and take a look behind the scenes together. For our latest issue, we interviewed Hildebrando Cárdenas, President of the Oro Verde cooperative. Hildebrando and the cooperative are a reliable and valued partner of cumpa, whose coffee has been a central element of our range for years.

Behind the Beans: Hildebrando Cárdenas, Oro Verde

What is your relationship with cumpa?

We started a business relationship with cumpa in 2018. Our connection goes beyond just a business partnership; we are allies committed to developing projects that benefit the farmers in the San Martin region.

How did you get into the coffee industry?

I am the son of farmers who have been growing coffee and cocoa for many years. I was involved in agriculture from a young age, but I didn’t know much about quality. In the 2000s, I immersed myself in the world of coffee and discovered that my passion lay in aromatic beans.

What do you like about the specialty coffee industry?

I have always advocated for improving coffee quality. Working with specialty coffees allows us to share knowledge from producers to consumers, and this knowledge transfer is what we are working on with cumpa.

What do you want to achieve with coffee?

To be an essential part of the chain delivering high-quality, traceable, and environmentally friendly coffees.

What does (specialty) coffee mean to you?

It is a harmony of experience, a collaboration between farmers, tasters, roasters, and consumers.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you with coffee? (your personal coffee highlight)

I used to only drink Raspa coffee (coffee from the last harvest where all branches on the plant are stripped by hand), but now I enjoy the finest selected coffee.

Which coffee prejudice would you like to dispel?

That coffee is harmful to health, especially in southern countries where this message exists. However, I believe in change, and we are investing in educating domestic consumption.

Which coffee highlight are you currently looking forward to the most?

Reaching the point where buyers and producers agree on smart solutions without advantages and become “Cumpas” (supporters, mentors, protectors) in the coffee industry.

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