We have 6 sustainability management priorities and each one has a manager for designing action plans and establishing goals, which are periodically reviewed with the Strategic Planning VP, who is in charge of coordinating the Organizations' Sustainability Committee.
Colombina was born 90 years ago as a result of its founder, Hernando Caicedo’s, dream. He created a company that only produced candy at first. As the years passed, it grew and diversified until it became a food company with a direct presence in 14 countries, and exports to over 80.
When somebody asks me what the keys to achieving this growth are, I undoubtedly point them to the words of our founder: “Companies today can only be conceived on the basis of mutual and friendly understanding between its stakeholders”. This philosophy has been the essence of our endeavor, understanding that in order to be sustainable, we need to create transparent, trustworthy relationships and seek mutual development with our stakeholders. That is the starting point of our commitment to each one of them, and that which we share with you year after year in this sustainability report.
2017 was filled with important activities as we continued with our goal to strengthen our presence in our strategic markets. Acquiring 100% of CAPSA’s stock in Guatemala enabled us to consolidate our operation in Central America and reach sales of nearly 64 million USD. In addition, we acquired the operational bases of our distributor in the Dominican Republic, creating a new subsidiary that serves over 500 customers directly and 15,000 indirectly.
Another significant event was launching the third phase of Colombina 100% line, which continued to yield excellent results, in addition to allowing us to offer our customers and consumers more options to care for their nutrition without sacrificing the characteristic flavor of all our products.
Developing strategic allies has been a key factor of our success in meeting our goal of promoting competitiveness. I am pleased to say that in 2017, one of our Big Brother suppliers became the first to join the group of companies certified by Colombina and SGS in recognition of their quality and safety management system. This is undoubtedly a very important achievement, because in addition to placing them at a superior level in our suppliers group, this is a result of collaborative work and evidence of their growing operations.
Finally, we were included in RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Yearbook for the fifth consecutive year. This achievement places us as one of the companies with best sustainability practices in the food industry, but also challenges us to continue consolidating a culture of sustainable development with our 7,800 employees who have been the driving engine of important recognitions like this one.