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EL ESPECTADOR

Juan Valdez 2.0? Innovations In Colombia's Coffee Industry

Companies like Tres Montes in Santander are focusing on quality, not just quantity, and improving the lives of small-scale growers in the process.

A new way to look at coffee
A new way to look at coffee
Juan Miguel Hernández Bonilla

BOGOTA — What can be done with coffee shrubs once their productive cycle ends? Is there an alternative to just letting them rot away? Could this raw material instead instead be used to make innovative and attractive products for foreign markets?

These are some of the questions that gave rise to Londono's Coffee, a family firm in Santa Rosa de Cabal, east of Bogota, that uses the wood from coffee shrubs to make furniture and other export products. "We realized that after a coffee plant's seven-year productive lifespan, most farming families cut the shrubs and throw the wood away, or at best burn them for cooking," Mauricio Londoño, one of the firm's young partners, said at the recent Cafés de Colombia Expo 2017 in Bogota.

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Two Ukrainian soldiers at a military base on the outskirts of the separatist region of Donetsk

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Halito!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine gets underway in Kyiv, Kim Jong-un slams North Korean officials’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and Mexico’s National Registry of Missing People reaches a grim milestone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian news outlet Livy Bereg looks at the rise of ethnic separatism across Russia’s federal regions.

[*Choctaw, Native American]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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