For this issue of Coffee Break Magazine, I had the pleasure to interview my good friend and conational Ronald Segura, which currently is organizing Expo Café Latam.
Jose Ureña: Tell us a bit about how you got involved with coffee and how has it changed your life.
Ronald Segura: Coffee has been present all throughout the history of Costa Rica. It has played a crucial role in our historical development since the colonial period. Since I was a child, my grandfather has shared with me his passion for coffee. He spent his entire life working on the coffee plantations and I had the fortunate opportunity to join him and live on first hand all the activities involved in growing this wonderful crop, starting from the seed, all the way to the mature bush harvest. To say I am a coffee consumer would be an understatement, in reality I am a coffee enthusiast, a true coffee lover and I have deep admiration for this crop, which has not just provided many benefits to me but to thousands of other Costa Rican families as well, we can easily say this country has been built on coffee.
Jose Ureña: Please tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea of a coffee event and how do you think it will help the Central American coffee industry.
Ronald Segura: My associate Jose Quesada and I are entrepreneurs, one of our desires is to contribute to the Costa Rican and Latin America’s development in general, by proactively searching for an industry that both me and my associate show mutual interest in. We identified an opportunity to develop a Latin American event in our country, taking into account that Costa Rican coffee is prized as one of the world’s best and that we have the capability to organize an expo, besides we have the support of recognized coffee exponents and academic institutions. Since we started the project, we have received the support of coffee industry, because there was an urgent need to develop bigger events and Expo Café Latam will be a special occasion for training, networking and business. The expositors are going to have the opportunity to negotiate the best conditions for their golden bean with international buyers from USA, Europe and Asia.
Jose Ureña: Tell us why European coffee lovers and professionals should visit Costa Rica? What, in your opinion, makes Costa Rican coffee special?
Ronald Segura: Costa Rica is not only statistically the happiest country in the world, but it is as well one of the most important touristic destinations, with 5% of the world biodiversity and the capability to offer excellent security and adequate logistic conditions. There are many things to enjoy in Costa Rica, among them the wonders of nature which will surely captivate anyone willing to visit. Costa Rica is renowned for its volcanoes, beaches and immense biodiversity. Costa Rica also offers an array of coffee flavors, each unique and distinctive from our eight productive regions of the Arabica variety. There is much to learn about production and collecting techniques that are both ecological and efficient. These elements have made our Golden Bean famous for its great quality. Academic institutions such as Universidad Nacional, El Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Facultad de Agronomía de la Universidad de Costa Rica and EARTH, are working together on a daily basis, with the National Cooperative sector and the coffee producers to achieve unprecedented quality and overall improvement in all elements of production. One example is Coopedota R.L. Cooperativa de Caficultores del Cantón de Dota, it is the first coffee cooperative with an International Carbon Neutral Certification. Of course, Coopedota will be part of the Expo Café Latam expositors as well. Expo Café Latam is a valuable opportunity to reach out and hear many success testimonials, as well as gain valuable information on the coffee technology innovations.
Jose Ureña: What do you think the European coffee consumers could do to help the Central American coffee production sustainability?
Ronald Segura: All European coffee consumers would enjoy great benefits from our coffee. Our coffee is produced under the highest quality standards.