Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sustainability for Today, and Tomorrow

This week I had the opportunity to speak with a group ofinvestors about the Britt strategy. Our conversation comes as Grupo Britt isabout to issue bonds on the Costa Rica Stock Exchange, after receiving theproper authorization from the Costa Rican Exchange Commission (SuperintendenciaGeneral de Valores).
I explained how this company, which was created 25 years agoto sell the world’s finest gourmet coffees as a finished product from its country oforigin, has since diversified by entering the world of gourmet chocolates, retailing specialty coffee online ( and gift shops.
We’ve made mistakes along the way. We’ve gotten out of someactivities and perfected our models for sustainable business. With a high doseof innovation our business thrives in many countries.
At Britt, we’ve created an organization that pursuesenvironmental sustainability in every aspect of our entrepreneurial activities.We were pioneers in marketing Costa Rican Organic gourmet coffee. We’ve launched manyinitiatives to reduce our use of water and energy. Recycling programs are ineffect at our facilities, and we’re always looking for ways to reduce wastefrom our production process. We are working toward becoming carbon neutral by2014.
On the social side, our coworkers participate in manyvolunteer programs. We promote the development of a Fair Trade coffee program for local farmers and othersuppliers by providing technical assistance and programs that encourageinnovation and product improvement.
One such initiative has benefited a group of women in LaCarpio, a community with social and economic challenges on the outskirts of SanJosé. Britt has provided seed capital, equipment and training to get thesewomen started making useful tote bags from recycled post-production Cafe Britt coffee packaging materials. The bags are on sale in our stores. Each includes a tagthat describes the project’s history and how these bags are changing the livesof these heads of household.
On the financial side, we’ve created a competitive business,a model for a developing country, through innovation we have climbed towardsthe peak of the value ladder. We enter international markets guided by ethical corporatevalues. All our business activities in every country we operate, are envelopedin the character and culture of Britt. This is a seal of guarantee for ourcustomers.
Britt will keep growing in proportion to our success inanticipating the needs of our customers. We live in a constantly changingworld. Some raw materials, such as unroasted coffee, have doubled in price ininternational markets over the last nine months. The markets are volatile, butwe know that tomorrow, you’ll receive the finest gourmet coffees, chocolates, nuts, cookies and personalized gourmet gifts developed and offered by people who go to great lengths to ensurethat you are completely satisfied. 
Britt will continue to grow as we make extra efforts topreserve and improve the quality and service that have enabled us to be wherewe are today.
All thebest,


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