New Juan Valdez to continue tradition of 100% Colombian Coffee

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -- In a bold yet smooth move, the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia announced on June 29 it handpicked a successor to carry on the tradition of Juan Valdez, the dapper, yet self-effacing front man for Colombia's coffee growers.



The new face of Juan, along with his mule Conchita, will once again travel the world extolling the virtues of handpicked 100% Colombian coffee and the demanding commitment to quality and environmental stewardship it takes to grow the "richest coffee in the world."



His name is Carlos Castaneda, a humble grower or "cafetero" from a long family tradition of cultivating coffee in a small village fittingly named Andes. Like the Juan Valdezes before him, Carlos Castaneda will serve as Colombia's iconic coffee ambassador to the world.

"For more than 45 years, Juan Valdez has represented the passion, hard work, and stewardship of all Colombia's coffee growing families and has ventured far from home to tell the world about the time-honored traditions of handpicked 100% Colombian Coffee," said Federation CEO Gabriel Silva. "Our passion is his passion, and our heritage is to bring coffee drinkers the rich taste and authentic spirit of handpicked 100% Colombian Coffee."



With his white hat, gentle smile and ever-present mule, Juan Valdez has become a true friend to coffee devotees around the world -- as well as one of the most recognized and respected images of all time. Juan Valdez was elected Ad Week's 2005 Advertising Icon of the Year and this year will be inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.



Selecting a man to bear the name Juan Valdez was more than a simple casting call. The man chosen to assume the role not only had to look the part, but also had to embody the same values and uncompromising commitment to quality, land, community and family that all Colombian coffee growers share. The Federation conducted a rigorous two yearlong search starting from a database of 380,000 coffee growers.



Carlos Castaneda, the new face of Juan Valdez, is a 39-year old rural coffee grower from the village of Andes in the Antioquia region of Colombia. A husband and father of three children, he comes from a long line of coffee growers, including grandparents, parents, and his extended family.



"The history of Juan Valdez is not a story or fable," said Silva. Established in 1927, the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia is a non-governmental, non-profit organization entirely owned by more than 560,000 Colombian coffee growers. The Federation also conducts research to improve product quality as well as farming and processing techniques through environmentally sound means at the most advanced coffee research facility in the world, Cenicafe.



To learn more about Juan Valdez visit http://www.juanvaldez.com.

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