Since his birth in Salgar, a small town in the Colombian department of Antioquia, Don Fernando Echavarría Ochoa has been surrounded by rural environment and virgin nature of the Colombian mountains. Inspired by his grandfather, Don Abelardo Ochoa González, one of the most influential coffee growers in Salgar, señor Fernando has dedicated his life to the family heritage.
Being even more than a grower, Don Fernando first brought the Holstein cattle from Europe, for which he was awarded the Boyaca Cross by the Government of Colombia for his merits as a planter, farmer and rancher.
In the 70s, Don Fernando introduced bananas to the growers of Uraba Antioqueño and became the first Director of UNIBAN, banana growers union. Some years later, he and other Antioqueños entrepreneurs established a trading company called “CI BANACOL” that, along with UNIBAN, exports 80% of Colombian bananas.
Pursuing a dream of his ancestors, in the 80s, Don Fernando ventured to create the first coffee region of FREDONIA – ANTIOQUIA acquiring the farms of Santa Isabel, La Adelita, Villa Sol and later Caracol in Betania and reaching his ultimate goal of two million coffee trees.
Nowadays, the farms and their tillage are recognized by the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, as one of the most advanced in the region, and certificated by Rainforest Alliance as well as UTZ, Dutch program for sustainable farming.