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Supporting Latin American Farmers
With much expectation and several years of inspiration Latin
Organics has now extended its product line following the company's
passion and drive to continue using Direct Trade with farmers as an
important tool towards bringing Social Equality to Colombia. After
tasting all the amazing cocoa in Colombia, Latin Organics decided
to go with Cocoa beans that are being grown between the Andes and
the Amazon. This particular bean is a 65% Cocoa with pronounced
rich chocolate flavor combined with delightful fruity and floral
notes well known to the Fino de Aroma cocoa quality. It is Kosher,
Vegan and Gluten Free so that there is no guilt at all. Use your
imagination as this product is versatile on how to enjoy it. If you
feel like having the best hot chocolate made from scratch without
all the fuss -use Latin Organics Cocoa. If you want to get up in
the morning and have a healthy smoothie- pour some of this goodness
to the blender and get a boost of anti-ox. If you love to bake or
cook, explore your senses using Latin Organics cocoa. If you just
want to have some right now- just open the bag, sit back and let
the Love Affair begin.
They bring great talent to the Canadian business arena and to
the medical and technological field from Coast to Coast.
Latin Organics, CEO& Founder, Martha Lucia Bowen, has been
nominated to receive the 6th annual edition of the "10 most
influential Hispanic Canadians". This year's winners may be invited
for a private meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, Rt. Hon.
Stephen Harper in 2013 as it was the case in 2010. The awards
ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, November 21, 2012 in Toronto
with the confirmed keynote speaker His Excellency Guillermo
Rishchyinski, Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations and 2008
winner of our program. Specifics on the awards ceremony will be
sent in a few weeks and we will blog about this. Martha Lucia Bowen
is certain that the work that Latin Organics is doing on Canadian
soil has a positive impact in the lives of all the farmers in the
countries of origin where we do trade as well for local consumers
that have the opportunity to support Latin Organics premium
products. Latin Organics not only works with coffee farmers and
cocoa farmers but also crafters that make eco friendly products for
everyday use following ancestral traditions. The "10 most
influential Hispanic Canadians" is the only national annual
Hispanic program celebrating the achievements of Hispanic
Canadians- a group known as Canada's Creative Class. The fifty past
winners come from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia,
Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan, representing thirteen countries
of origin. The program is organized by the Canadian Hispanic
Business Association. Judges include past winners as well as
executives and journalists from the National Post, Globe &
Mail, Toronto Star, CBC, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance,
Canadian Council for the Americas, Canadian Aboriginal &
Minority Supplier Council and the University of Ottawa.- Three of
the winners were from British Columbia.
Keep an eye out for Green Zebra's Coupon Book- where you can
find local savings for sustainable living. In the 2012 edition you
will be able to find some neat offerings to use at Latin Organics
flagship store. All things that are sustainable and good are
offered through Green Zebra's coupon book. Green Zebra first started in
San Francisco- in the bay area with the goal to make San Francisco
a more sustainable place to live and work. From this idea, Green Zebra Vancouver was
started. Green Zebra Vancouver is supported by Nester's Market,
Choices, Market Place IGA, David Suzuki Foundation and Van City to
name a few- so purchase yours as soon as it comes out.
Another place to find Latin Organics Coffee this new season-
will be in the well known Vancouver magazine Edible
Vancouver in their Fall Edition as well as on line. You can get
more info on their
blog. Phil Solomon is publisher of Edible Vancouver magazine
and his reward is to taste-test all the local food and beverages-
and yes that does include Latin Organics coffee ! For sure this is
a Foodie magazine. Latin Organics flagship store will be receiving
a magazine rack- so that you can come in and grab a copy to take
home and while you delight on Latin Organics Colombian coffee you
can have a sneak peak.
Look out for the roads- as you will be seeing Latin Organics car
zooming in and out as we get busier brewing our coffee to reach
hundreds of folks. Latin Organics cars once spotted will bring a
smile to your face- they are bright and happy looking ! What would
you expect- we have the sun in our hearts.
This month, Latin
Organics Coffee helped the Burnaby Hospital Foundation
with their 13th annual community run and walk, raising much needed
funds and support for Burnaby's Hospital most urgent medical
The Rhythm of Life highlights included a 10 km run, 5 km
run and walk, and 1 km Family Stroll. There was a BBQ lunch, Latin
Organics Coffee freshly brewed- keeping spirits happy, outdoor
stage with live entertainment and many other activities.
Latin Organics coffee will be
placed under a beautiful white tent for all guests to delight on.
Latin Organics will be brewing it's 2011 coffee harvest that
arrived to Vancouver on June 5th. This years Feast of Fields will take
place on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at the Krause Berry Farms in
Langley. For the last 16 years, Feast of Fields has brought the
best of BC's culinary masters to an inviting, relaxed farm setting
to enjoy summer's many food gems. All the food and coffee artisans
participating share their passion and knowledge of our local fare
to local consumers. The proceeds from Feast of Fields provide
critical funding for project development, community outreach
and daily operations. Farm Folk/City Folk has , since 1993,
worked throughout British Columbia protecting farmland and
providing opportunities for new farmers and strengthening the
connection between farm and city with education, communication and
celebration.Here at Latin Organics we are really looking forward in
connecting with all these food lovers- who enjoy their coffee with
the same passion that we have when we bring the best coffee beans
possible to Canada from Colombia.
Interview with Martha Bowen, CEO Latin
Interview by Manny
With three young children, a husband, community work, and a
thriving local Vancouver based business, this is one CEO driven to
make a real change in the coffee industry and the world for that
matter. Today's interview is with Martha Bowen, social entrepreneur
and founder of Latin Organics.
Q: Good morning Martha. First things first, thank you for the
cappuccino. It's very smooth. Please tell us about Latin Organics
and the story of how you started the company?
A: Well, just over five years ago, I decided that it was time
for me to make a difference and after much thought, I came up with
the idea of a company that would truly contribute to the world in
an ethical manner. I wanted a company that would generate local
employment, but at the same time, improve the lives of my fellow
Colombians. The result is Latin Organics.
Q: Your last name is Bowen. How did a Colombian end up with a
European sounding name?
A: My grandfather on my father's side immigrated to South
America and he was Irish.
Q: Why start a coffee company and not, say, a clothing
A: We're more than a coffee company, we also market hand crafted
accessories that are 100% biodegradable made by indigenous women
from Colombia. We also plan on bringing exotic Colombian
cocoa/chocolate to North America. But, to answer your question, it
made sense to start Latin Organics with coffee because it's a major
export of Colombia and coffee is a major source of employment.
Q: As an entrepreneur, what did you find most challenging about
starting a company?
A: The most challenging was all the up front work at the very
beginning. When I decided that I wanted to start Latin Organics, I
was still working full time and I had two young children. I had to
do my research and business plan on my day off - Mondays back in
2002. Also, as I was getting ready to launch the company, I became
pregnant with my third child, Sara, who is now as old as Latin
Organics. It was definitely an exciting, but very challenging time
in my life.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?
A: Making a difference in the world and seeing consumers excited
as they hold a bag of Latin Organics coffee in their hands - in
this moment, I know that we are doing the right thing and it feels
so good. I find inspiration in the hard work of our farmers, as
well as I am fully aware of all the hardships in Colombia. I like
to think that we're helping to take "greed out of the equation" and
that will help in alleviating poverty.
Q: What do you mean by taking "greed out of the equation"?
A: What I mean is that our farmers need to be dealt with
directly and paid a fair price so they can continue to grow great
organic coffee. Direct trade is one step above any other type of
trade out there because there are no middlemen involved or any fees
that farmers need to pay out of their pockets. Farmers do not need
charity they need social equality.
Q: What makes Latin Organics different?
A: Well, we are from Colombia - just like our coffee beans and
we have a true passion for bringing social equality to Colombia so
that someday we can feel that it is safe to live there again. This
is the passion and energy that supports us to deal directly with
the farmers through DIRECT TRADE and pay the price that they need
for their hard work. I believe that this empowers our farmers. In
this way, their earnings, which is what Latin Organics contributes
to, stay in the local economy and will help to achieve social
equality in Colombia. Latin Organics premium certified organic
Colombian Arabica coffee beans are grown in the shade, which is
bird friendly and in balance with nature. We respect Mother Earth
and understand best practices for growing true organic coffee. We
believe this will ultimately help keep the fertility of soil and
its ability to produce food for future generations.
Q: What advice would you give a would be entrepreneur?
A: Follow your passion. Be persistent and strong. Don't take
shortcuts. And enjoy the climb.
Q: Please finish this sentence, "What is the one thing you
cannot live without?".
A: My Family.
Read full interview
2011 Feast of Fields Preview
Article by: Ariane
On Wednesday, I was invited to a Feast of Fields preview on-site
at Krause Berry Farms in Langley, BC. The event itself will take
place on Sunday, September 11, 2011. It's FarmFolk CityFolk's 17th
annual event that will help raise funds for the organization.
Feast of Fields is a four hour (1 pm to 5 pm) gourmet wandering
harvest festival and FarmFolk CityFolk's annual fundraising event.
With a wine glass and linen napkin in hand, you can taste the very
best of BC from chefs, vintners, brewers, farmers, fishers,
ranchers and food artisans from across the province - some think of
it as a 40 course meal paired with wine and beer! Feast of Fields
highlights the connections between producer and chef, field and
table, and farm folks and city folks. Feast of Fields is a
gastronomic journey towards a sustainable, local food system.
FarmFolk/CityFolk has been vocal since 1993 in spreading the
word about a BC-wide sustainable food system. This growing movement
of community farms and food systems is key for maintaining a
healthy supply of products for British Columbians.
FarmFolk/CityFolk creates seed security, develops community farms,
and provides resources for those looking to eat BC-sourced
The organization is also concerned with loss of farmland and
aging farmers, not to mention the growth of industrialized food
systems and ultimately, safety issues in our modern day food
supply. By attending this event, we can all help FarmFolk/CityFolk
to keep doing the vital work they've been doing for nearly two
Our preview started right here in town with a stop at the Latin
Organics café in East Vancouver. CEO/founder Martha Bowen had a
dream of living a traditional life that her grandmother enjoyed in
her hometown of Valledupar, Columbia. "I wanted to be like a matron
who, through my social help to people and to society, would set a
goal for other women and other people," according to Martha.
In 2005, she realized her goal when she opened Latin Organics, a
fair trade, organic coffee company whose beans are purchased
directly from the Arhuaco Indians, located near her Columbian
hometown, some of whom even once traded with her grandfather.
Martha Bowen has also been recently nominated for a 2011 RBC Canadian
Women Entrepreneur Award.
Read full article here
Latin Organics CEO & Founder, Martha
Bowen has been nominated to receive the 2011 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur
The purpose of the award is to provide recognition to
Canada's Women Entrepreneurs whose successful business and
achievements contribute so much to the Canadian and global
economies -as well as the communities. 98 awards have been
presented for outstanding entrepreneurial achievement in
different categories since 1992. This event is presented by the
Royal Bank of Canada and it is sponsored by Bell, Deloitte,
National Post, Hello Canada, Argyle, Profit Magazine, TPH and
"We are very excited and humbled by the nomination.
Immigrating to Canada and starting Latin Organics Inc. has been one
of the most life changing experiences that I have had. Being a
Canadian is an opportunity to excel and give back. Being an
Entrepreneur is the perfect platform to achieve this. Growing a
company in Canada is a lot of hard work, persistence, determination
and vision- more so in these uncertain times. For me it is all
about creating social equality for our farmers/crafters, while
caring for our planet and providing Canadians with the best
possible product." stated Martha. Should Latin Organics win-
there will be for sure a lot of happy people in
To see Latin Organics Nomination to the 2011 RBC Canadian
Women Entrepreneur Award click
The level of insecurity
and corruption seen in the zone where Latin Organics coffee is
grown is a clear reflection of the critical situation that Colombia
This area is not only home to coffee farms but to cattle
operations that produce revenue for its owners. A shocking contrast
when you drive along the outskirts of Valledupar and see people
living in slums built on eroded dirt.
The fact that here in Colombia you are able to buy any
brand of vehicle manufactured on planet Earth or purchase any of
the latest gadgets- fashion, wines, etc- does not mean that the
country has moved forward when there are still large levels of
corruption that do not allow funds for education, social housing,
medical care- to arrive to the most vulnerable -creating social
There are more than 74.000 homeless people due to the
internal conflict and violence suffered at present in Colombia- as
well as to the natural disasters- in this zone alone. This
immigration of homeless people to this area- has generated a series
of criminal activities- from petty cash theft to street
murders. The average of deaths is at the 2.5 mark per
Direct Trade through Latin Organics helps to generate
revenue and funds that stay in this region. It can be used for
social projects improving the day to day life of these
It is worrisome to see this situation that is almost out
of control. None the less Latin Organics Canada is opening a branch
in Colombia called Latin Organics Colombia. "We have no doubt that
our dedication and efforts through our new branch- will continue to
foster Direct Trade and social equality." stated Martha Bowen in
Latin Organics brand goes beyond its amazing organic
Colombian premium coffee beans roasted with in Canadian borders- it
reaches out to Colombia supporting a region and country in need.
That is an amazing and unique cup of coffee to support !
Valledupar is the Capital city of the
department of El Cesar, located in the Northern part of Colombia
where Latin Organics roots started. It is a valley where the Sierra
Nevada de Santa Marta- area where Latin Organics coffee is grown-
stretches out to rest. Martha Bowen's family owns a cattle farm
only 15 minutes away from Valledupar. This cattle farm has been
dormant for three decades. In November, 2010 - 80 homeless family's
tried to invade four hectares of this private land- stating that
the owners did not need the land because they live "abroad". The
irony of all this is that the Bowen family left Colombia due to
kidnapping and other security issues. Latin Organics is a company
incorporated in Canada and founded by Martha Bowen- precisely with
the vision to alleviate poverty in Colombia. In the same way that
Latin Organics has taken care of its coffee beans- a plan has been
laid out for the farm. At present this family owned farm presents a
unique offering of flora and fauna not found in any other nearby
locations. This farm continues to protect ancient trees and native
plants-an oasis of oxygen for the region. An organic grass fed
cattle operation will be started on this land- in the same way that
Martha Bowen's grandfather Jacob M Luque operated. This will make
Latin Organics existence a little bit more exciting as this cattle
farm will provide jobs for many people and their family's so that
they may work towards having a home. We all need to strive for
social equality, zero tolerance towards corruption in our leaders
and an end to the brutal man made race called "greed". Here is a
Latin Organics espresso to that!