César Echeverry is receiving the Leadership Medal of Merit in the individual category. César is the director and founder of TECNiCAFÉ, the innovate coffee technology park located in Popayán, Colombia, which is co-owned by CQI. Launched through a public-private partnership and in operation since 2017, TECNiCAFÉ serves as a technology incubator, experimental farm, and research center modeled after the Stanford Research Park. With these resources, TECNiCAFÉ strives to help producers increase the value of their coffee.
César has worked in coffee for virtually his entire life. The son of coffee farmers, he held several posts with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC), including serving as Colombia’s representative to the International Coffee Organization, before leaving to focus on TECNiCAFÉ. In addition to founding TECNiCAFÉ, César is the manager of Supracafé in Colombia, where he oversees a specialty-coffee farm with integrated processing.
David Roche, CQI’s executive director, says César’s lifelong dedication to strengthening Colombia’s coffee sector makes him deserving of the Leadership Medal of Merit. “TECNiCAFÉ is a stunning achievement—the resources available there are world-renowned and help provide vital research and training to help support the future of coffee,” says David. “And the institution would not exist without the vision and leadership of César Echeverry, who worked tirelessly bringing together many organizations in partnership to bring TECNiCAFÉ to life.”
César says he is humbled to receive the Merit Award, and is eager to address the audience at the annual luncheon in Boston. “Many thanks to CQI for this recognition and special support for our inter-institutional effort that is TECNiCAFÉ,” César says. “I am very happy and enthusiastic to receive this important distinction, and I look forward to expressing my thanks and inviting the industry to join our network of open and collaborative innovation.”