Project Colombia

Producer Cooperative: Red Ecolsierra

The non-profit organization Red Ecolsierra (abbreviated for the “Network of the Ecological Producers in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta”) was created 15 years ago. It is composed by more than 350 members who own organic and fair-trade certifications. 

Red Ecolsierra works towards these three goals: 

1. Regeneration of the Colombian society after a devastating civil war has raged for decades in Colombia. For this effort, Red Ecolsierra was awarded the national prize “Emprender Paz” in 2017. 

2. Regeneration of the biosphere in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta which is a UNESCO protected area featuring the world’s highest coastal mountain and is - according to the International Union for Nature Conservation - the world’s most irreplaceable protected area.

3. Implement innovations and support quality improvements in the field of specialty coffee. 

Victor Cordero, managing director of Red Ecolsierra, is also a prominent leader of his community, a respected coffee producer and secretary-general of the Organization Fairtrade Latin America (CLAC).

I met Victor in Colombia, during my work for the cooperative back in 2018. One year later we met again in Vienna for the annual meeting of Fairtrade Austria. Hopefully we can meet again soon, as he is a very inspiring character who supports his community and changed the lifes of many people around him for the positive.

“For us, as coffee producers, it is not only important to grow coffee, but to grow the peace and hope our families so desperately need.”


Red Ecolsierra - Mildred Niebles

Mildred Niebles is just one of a kind - that´s why we also named one of our coffees after her. 

She is a coffee producer but also Q-Grader, Q-Instructor and Chief Quality Control Manager of the cooperative Red Ecolsierra.

The mother of three kids protected her coffee farm during civil war all by herself and even got shot by guerrillas in the mountains - she is a real fighter!


Red Ecolsierra - Jaime

When I´ve visited Jaime’s farm in 2018, I witnessed that as much as he is dedicated to coffee he is to his family in the community. 

This humble and friendly man is eager to producing the best coffee with all his soul for several reasons: he loves amazing coffee but also he wants to make sure that his children and grandchildren have a decent future and the nature in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta will continue to exist for next generations.


An anecdote: in the region of the Sierra Nevada they call their coffee a “tinto” or literally “colored”. This is because they prefer it less concentrated. They also drink it with a lot of sugar and in huge quantities. The group of harvesters on his farm—usually 5 or 6—would drink an entire bag of 60 kg during one harvest season, which lasts only for a couple of months.

As a comparison—a similar group of ordinary Germans would drink about one-quarter of that quantity.

Thank you, señor Jaime, for your wonderful coffee!