By: Maria Gotti | Sustainability Projects and Practice Sharing Analyst at Enel | August 23rd, 2016

Although, 90% of Colombia’s main business derives from industrial activities in rural areas, these are the areas that have the least economic support from the government. It is in fact common for people living in these municipalities, where government budgets are very low, to expect funding from large industrial entities that work there. On this note Enel, that has plants in operation in Tequendama and Gavio, opened up a new relationship with the Stakeholders by engaging the communities in a shared value perspective to safeguard its existing business and overcome the old ‘compensation’ approach. This enabled the company to develop strategic alliances by co-designing solutions with the local communities and activate a development program that supports the local development to foster new opportunities, generate income and improve the economic dynamics of the municipalities.

Taking into consideration that 70% of the food produced in Colombia comes from small farmers and following a context analysis as well as meetings with the communities, the opportunities that have been identified were to strengthen and facilitate the development of the local agribusiness. The development program wants to support the communities in their management of livestock, cultivation of vegetables, coffee and cocoa by improving and innovating their methodologies. This is done by providing: training on how to plant new crops, technical assistance on how to use new professional equipment to strengthen post-harvesting skills and teach them how to install business partnerships and mitigate environmental impacts during the production process. This program enables the communities to strengthen their local production and renders the product more competitive on the national and international markets.

A few more details and outcomes of the program:

  • Improvement of the quality of the milk produced by 90 milk producers in the community of San Antonio de Tequendama also developing the milk’s exposure in the local market.
  • Strengthen the production of vegetables in 35 hectares of land providing technical assistance and new equipment. The direct beneficiaries of this program in the Municipality of San Antonio de Tequendama are 70 families.
  • 2.000 hectares of renewed coffee crops, 800 farmers directly involved, 200% increase in productivity per hectare, new job opportunities for 5.000 people as well as the support of 17 local associations to help improve the product’s placement on the market.
  • Cultivation of 163 hectares of cocoa from which 187 farmers and their families are able to directly benefit, at the same time providing 200 new job opportunities and strengthening the social entrepreneurial activities of 4 local associations.

Thanks to this development project, the Cocoa producers of Asopeca in the municipality of Campoalegre won the first prize Cacao de Oro de Colombia” - for the best production of thin cocoa and aroma in the country - in a national contest launched by Swiss Contact, a Swiss cooperation. Thanks to this award and mention, Asopeca was invited to participate to the Salon du Chocolat in Paris where they met the best chocolate producers in the world, following which they will receive technical assistance in the process of post cultivation by an expert that will visit the area of production.

At the same time the quality of coffee has increased exponentially and at the moment we are looking for new market opportunities at national and international level. 


Defend the existing business and develop new opportunities by increasing stakeholder loyalty, engage the local community in a long – term social and economic development program to prevent further ‘compensation’ investments at a later stage.


Improvement of cultivation techniques, strengthening the marketing of products and increasing the local disposable income. Promote job opportunities in order to reduce the emigration to other more productive areas. 

Video Link:



Cadenas Productivas - Project Fact Sheet.pdf

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