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Men of the Year.

Men of the Year

Jorge Cardenas

Born on August 20, 1930 in Medillin, Antioquia, Jorge Cardenas, general manager of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, has been associated with the Federation for almost 30 years. He began with the Federation as auxilary general manager and was appointed general manager in 1983. He had participated actively in the administration and formulation of policy and currently carries forward the basic domestic and international programs of the organization. Before his career with the Federation, Cardenas held several government posts from 1959 to 1962.

He is a well respected lawyer with a masters degree in Business Administration from Syracuse University in the U.S.A.

The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros) was founded in 1927 as a non-profit association or guild to encourage coffee growing, improve systems of cultivation and to upgrade the standard of living of the coffee grower.

Acting on both domestic and international levels, the Federation can count among its many accomplishments the stability of Colombia's coffee industry, an improved long-term trade picture and balance of trade, and a higher standard of living for its coffee growers. The Federation supports the industry with a worldwide promotional effort that has helped create a positive image for Colombian coffee abroad.

Since its foundation, the Federation's governing body has been the National Coffee Congress, which meets every two years. It is composed of delegates from each of the coffee producing provinces designated in proportion to the region's production.

One of the essential functions of the Federation is the marketing of the crop. The Federation administers a support price policy, designed in order to provide an acceptable economic return to growers and to avoid drastic fluctuations in the purchasing power. Adjustments are made according to changes in the international price of coffee.

The introduction of modern technology to coffee farming has been a priority of the Federation. The Federation's research programs are centered in Chinchina, the heart of the coffee growing region and also in experimental centers scattered throughout the country. Focus is on developing more effective production and processing techniques, improved tree varieties, disease control and crop diversification.

Colombia has been a strong supporter of the International Coffee Agreement, between producers and consumers. The main goal of this agreement is to stabilize prices through a reasonable balance between supply and demand.

Cardenas has received many awards and honors on behalf of his work with the Federations, charities, and public work. He has received decorations and commendations from Spain, the Vatican, Germany, Poland, and Finland.

Cardenas has been active in supporting an International Coffee Agreement and is repeatedly a major force behind their negotiations. Sometimes the man is honored as a hero in the coffee industry, other times criticized. As all men trying to reach a goal for the good of his industry and country, Cardenas is making things happen, and he has already made a difference in the world coffee trade.

Paul Higgins Sr.

Entering his eighth decade, Paul Higgins, president and chief executive officer of Mother Parker's Foods Limited of Toronto, Canada is still adding to his executive trophy case. He now has the pleasant task of finding a space in there for the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal's Man of the Year Award for 1991. It might sit beside the 1969 Gold Pencil award given by the Food Industry Association which he helped found for his contribution to the industry as a super salesman, visionary and innovator.

Born in 1912, the year his father founded the firm of Higgins and Burke, a wholesale grocery distributor, he joined the firm in 1929. By 1930, he oversaw the introduction of Mother Parker's Tea. Eventually the company was renamed Mother Parker's Foods Limited to reflect the company's principal business activities. During his 62 years in the business, he has watched the family firm grow from a small operation into the largest Canadian-owned tea and coffee company.

Mother Parker's operates in three major market segment - retail trade, food service and private label packaging. Much of the firm's success comes from Paul Higgins' willingness to innovate and invest in the latest technology. The company is justly proud of a string of industry firsts if has brought to North America. Since 1948, its plants have consistently been the most modern in the country. In 1967, its coffee and tea processing equipment was totally computerized so human hands never touched the product.

In 1976, Higgins expanded his nearby Ajax, Ontario plant and scoured the world for the most modern tea processing and packaging equipment that could be found. He bought several IMA tea bagging machines in Italy with the capacity to turn out 2,500 bags per minute. In 1981, he also installed his first IMA tea tagging machine for flow-through envelope bags. The ultra-modern plant now boasts a battery of machines producing various formats.

Equally at home in the world of coffee, Higgins and Mother Parker's have scored a number of firsts here as well. He produced the first Canadian freeze dried coffee in 1964. The firm's Mississauga, Ontario plant is devoted wholly to fresh ground and whole bean coffee. Both plants are the envy of the industry and the apple of Paul Higgins' eye.

In the early 1980's, Higgins introduced hard nitrogen packaging using a SIG brick pack machine to replace vacuum cans. In 1985, the Mississauga plant underwent a $10 million modernization which included the installation of the first Probat Werke super-yield roaster in North America.

His wife, the former Evelyn Bowlen is an American and a 1937 graduate of the University of Oklahoma. The Higgins have a beautiful home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida which they visit frequent each winter.

Married for 52 years, the couple has been blessed with five children - three girls and two boys - who in turn have given their parents 11 grandchildren. The sons, Paul Jr. and Michael, vice president and general manager and executive vice president (sales) respectively, play major roles on the management team guiding this progressive family-owned company.

Paul Higgins works hard and he plays hard. One of his most enjoyable forms of recreation is entertaining on the Pacific, the only privately owned railway car in Ontario. It was built in 1924 and served as the royal home away from home for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England during their 1939 Royal Tour of Canada and the United States. The car has been lovingly restored and updated with air conditioning. It seats 10 for dinner and sleeps seven.

1992 will mark the 80th anniversary of Paul Higgins' birth and the founding of the original company.

Philippe Jobin

In the course of 1992, we are promised the publication of a new edition of a work that has become important to coffee buyers and roasters around the world. This is to be the 5th edition of The Coffees Produced Throughout the World, as expanded and revised by its author, Philippe Jobin. Quite likely this is the most thorough working reference guide to green coffee origins in print, and with the forth-coming edition it is available in French, English, and Spanish texts, implying just how worldly the subject and the writer are.

Surely few individuals have visited more coffee producing nations, in study of coffee, than Philippe Jobin. In the course of his pursuit of coffee knowledge, and even into the reaches of coffee's distant history and mythology, he has crisscrossed the globe. His learning and first hand experience earn him title as Coffee Master, and particularly as to Arabicas and the world's most carefully grown and handled coffees. Complimenting his international reputation, Philippe Jobin has been a leader in French and La Harve coffee business for several years. He joined his family's importing business, Masion P. Jobin et Cie, in 1949. Working through the rank, he became company president following his father's retirement in 1969. Since then, the company has become increasingly known internationally for its expertise in specialty coffees. Tea has been a factor as well, and in 1983, Jobin was awarded the exclusive agency for Brooke Bond Teas in France.

However, in 1984, the company created its 'S 4 A' subsidiary, also based in Le Havre, to handle marketing and distribution of diverse coffee and tea related products and accessories. This move also allowed Philippe Jobin and Masion Jobin to devote full attention to green coffee - as a business and study.

In the course of his work, Jobin has also been instrumental in the evolution of European and French warehousing and Arabica importing organizations. He was a founding member of SMECA, in Le Havre, of GRIC and of GIUCA, relative to Brazilian stocks in Trieste. In the 1980's he served for two years as president of the Comite Francais du Cafe.

The Jobin pen has surely been as active as his passport. In addition to the five editions of The Coffees Produced Throughout the World, Jobin has penned numerous articles, prefaces, and collaborated on the recent Le Cafe edition by the Nathan publishing house. He has served for two years as editor of the Comite Francais du Cafe monthly publication, "Le Cafe." For several years he has progressed with work on Dicoffee, his coffee dictionary. He is sought after as consultant on various international coffee related projects, and as a speaker. In the recent past he has addressed APROMA, SCAA in San Francisco, and the Spanish Coffee Congress.

Some of the more interesting activities for Philippe Jobin in 1991? Holding training sessions relative to coffee for fraud inspectors; a research trip to Puerto Rico in January; research trip to Salvador in March; technical consultation (ongoing) for a film about children living on a coffee plantation. Clearly, as Jobin's career asserts, coffee study can be long and intense, but it needn't ever be dull.

Dharyono Kertasastro

When you look for a real coffeeman "body and soul" no one is more appropriate than Dharyono Kertosastro or "Pak Dhar", as the local people call him.

He was born on July 11, 1935 in the middle of the coffee village of Dampit, East Java, Indonesia, a country well-known as a source for exceptional gourmet coffee such as Pancur, Jampit, Kayumas, Mandheling, Lintong, and Toraja Kalosi. During his early childhood he inherited and learned the coffee trade from his father, who was the owner of the Margosuko Coffee Plantation, and in 1962 became director of the firm, and also director of more than 10 estate plantations. Margosuko (Dampit) is a wet processing plant well known for their washed robusta (West Indiesche Bereiding).

"Pak Dhar" started his education in Indonesia, and completed it at the college of Ekonomie und Sosialwissenshaft, West Germany.

Fluent in English, Dutch, and German besides Indonesian, Javanese and other local dialects, he has been hopping throughout the Indonesian archipelago as coffee trader and around the world since elected chairman of the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters (AICE) in 1979.

Since 1979, under the guidance of "Pak Dhar", AICE has greatly contributed to the coffee industry through various programs including conducting local coffee symposiums increasing coffee production and consumption, planning to increase Arabica coffee production from 10 to 30%, establishing farmers cooperatives and information centers, establishing an Indonesian coffee grading system as a standard for coffee exports, educating small farmers to increase yield and maintain high quality coffee, expanding cup testing awareness among coffee growers, traders and exporters, and conducting many international seminars around the world to promote Indonesian coffee.

AICE has representative offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and is currently establishing a roasting factory in China.

Along with his tremendous involvement in coffee, "Pak Dhar" is also involved in several other industries in Indonesia. He is currently chairman of the National Shippers Council (since 1986), chairman of the Compartment for Foreign Trade on Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (since 1985), vice chairman of Indonesian Estate Plantation Association (since 1985), member of Curator Board of Brawijaya University and Merdeka University in Malang, and permanent member of Indonesian Delegation to the International Coffee Organization (ICO).

One of "Pak Dhar's" many credits include introducing the breeding of the Hawaiian bee-like predator Curinus Caeroleus. This predator kills the jumping lice, Heteropsylla Cubana. These jumping lice are very dangerous to the coffee farmers because they kill the leaves of the Lamtoro Coffee (Leucanena Glauca) Tree, which shade the coffee trees from direct sunlight. Without this shading, the coffee trees would be damaged.

He experimented with the predator at his own Margosuko Coffee Plantation before applying it to other areas. The experiment was a success, and the thesis was presented as one of the subjects of the International Coffee Convention in Bali.

"Pak Dhar" does not limit his wisdom to coffee though, as he directs and owns other plantations as well, including tea, cocoa, clove, palm, tobacco, and vegetables.

Dr. Emilio Lavazza

Dr. Emilio Lavazza could well be know as "Mr. Espresso." Certainly he has earned the title by his career contributions in helping to establish the Lavazza company as the world leader in espresso coffee production and marketing. During his presidency, since 1981, the Lavazza company has emerged as Italy's largest coffee company with a commanding share of the market, and too has developed significant presences for its Italian espresso brands in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Dr. Lavazza joined his family-owned company in 1955. His challenge was to build a sales force throughout northern Italy in order to keep the then new Lavazza factory running. In 1961, the Lavazza company introduced its vacuum packed tins and took the initial steps toward emerging as Italy's first coffee roasting company with national reach. With this came branding and product image development, and Dr. Lavazza's team created a national sales force to support the expansion.

The Lavazza company was an early computer user, and introduced market control patterns at a very early date. From this, Dr. Lavazza was also instrumental in forging the company's earliest marketing and advertising programs for several years. As part of this he helped launch Caffe Paulista in 1961, one of the first brands in Europe to be marketed as an exclusive blend of purely Brazilian coffees. This was a great success for the company. It was also a personal achievement for Dr. Lavazza as prior to the brand launch, and in preparation for it, he had lived for some time in Brazil. Dr. Lavazza speaks Portuguese, as well as French and English.

Lavazza company growth continued, paced by pioneering use of flexible packaging materials and machinery, and by dedication to sophisticated consumer product marketing. From sales and marketing, Dr. Lavazza moved on to green coffee buying in 1971, and in fact headed the company's buying department for more than a decade. During this time, he traveled the world gaining an in depth and personal acquaintance with green coffee producing nations.

Due to his long term experience in the key sectors of contemporary coffee industry life, Dr. Lavazza has been a respected participant in various national and international coffee organizations. He has served as president of the European roasters association, and as president of the European Coffee Federation, 1986-87. Currently, he is president of AIIPA, Italy's food product association. This year, Dr. Lavazza has been honored by the President of Italy as Cavaliere de l'Lavoro.

Emilio Lavazza lives in the heart of the city he loves, Turin. He is an avid golfer and |philosophic' fisherman. Looking back over 36 years in coffee, he remarks with special fondness over his experiences in Brazil, and to the fact that at one point during his coffee buying days the Lavazza company was acquiring 82% of its coffee from Brazil. As for coffee, the drink itself: He is always, and ever, the champion of espresso, of what he calls "the little cup."
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Title Annotation:Jorge Cardenas, Paul Higgins Sr., Philippe Jobin, Dharyono Kertasastro, Emilio Lavazza
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:Biography
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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