Don Gilberto was 10 years old when the Colombian civil war forced his family to move to Acevedo Huila in order to survive. He had to start working with his father at 10 years of age in order for their family to have food and survive. Gilberto was able to save enough money to go back to school and maintain his role on the farm.
Early in the development of the finca, La Florida had Arabica coffee which had good production. However, due to the varieties of coffee on the farm, they were very susceptible to La Roya, which is a disease that impacts the leaves of the coffee plant and eventually destroys the plant. In 1985 Don Gilberto’s father decided to start planting a new variety of coffee plant named Caturra. This variety is more resistant to the disease and allows for continued coffee production. Today, the farm which is owned and operated by Gilberto produces significant amounts of specialty Caturra coffee and distributes around the world.
In 2005, the National Coffee Federation began a competition named The Cup of Excellence, which Don Gilberto began to participate. Through exposure to international markets, Don Gilberto was able to build his company and brand and recognition as a grower of specialty coffee. Through continued efforts with improving his coffee plantations, Gilberto was awarded the Cup of Excellence in 2015 with his Colombia Caturra variety. This prestigious award elevated Don Gilbertos coffees and his reputation within the coffee markets. Since them Don Gilberto and his coffee is recognized as one of the best in Colombia.
Don Gilbertos dream is to continue to develop his coffee plantations and distribute his coffee around the world while providing job opportunities for his community and help the many families involved in the coffee farming process. Gilberto takes pride in his coffee and production and is very passionate about it. He is married with 6 children who work with him on his farm and continue the tradition of growing specialty coffee and sharing it with the world.