The Colombian armed conflict involved insurgent groups of various denominations which confronted the Colombian armed forces almost daily for more than 50 years. This opened up an alternative in Colombia and a need to explore a peace dialogue with one of the main actors of the Colombian armed conflict called the Farc.
After several approaches, a mutually agreed agenda was initiated between the parties involved in this conflict where the result of these talks were the peace agreements signed in 2016. One of the points of the peace agreements was the reinstatement of the members of the FARC into society through the generation of projects that lead to the reduction of inequalities, with an established peace policy backed by justice and solid institutions that contribute to the Colombian peace process.
CARLOS ALBERTO GONZALEZ SANCHEZ
Rafael Restrepo Rodriguez
Universidad Externado de Colombia
Gustavo A Yepes López
The craft beer La Roja was born in the ETCR (Space of Territorial Training and Reincorporation), in the municipality of Icononzo, Tolima located 2 hours from Bogota, the capital of Colombia. This iniciative was led by “Carlos Alberto”, ex-combatant and active participant in the peace process, supported by Wally Broderick, an English professor at the Externado University of Colombia of Irish origin (one of Professor Broderick's greatest passions is the art of making craft beer). In their views of the territorial Space, they saw how during a literacy project that was carried out with people who are in the process of reinstatement, the ideas of the productive projects did not achieve the desired success and impact for economic growth, social inclusion and business generation.
So they raised the idea of generating a clean productive process to the environment, of social innovation, that would contribute to peace, where the municipality, the country and the world could see the reduction of inequalities, and as we have mentioned, in the framework of the Peace process, the idea of making craft beer called La Roja today materialized.
A product that distinguishes itself from others because it is the result of peace, tolerance and change. A product that crossed the borders of the municipality and is now in Bogota. A product that “Calls the consumer to meet, to sit down and talk about something, to reach agreements and from there evolve more projects that contribute to the peace of Colombia” and as Carlos Alberto says, “By buying the Red Beer we are contributing to peace, justice, and the growth of an economic project.”
La Roja is inspired by Peace, where it is sought to generate conditions of social inclusion that allow war to not be the reference for work, to generate a different learning calling for the development of a sustainable planet, to continue being a project that generates clean processes and sustainable economic development in the environment where it is manufactured. La Roja builds a different story not from armed confrontation but from entrepreneurship, learning, inclusion, innovation and forgiveness.
According to Carlos Alberto, “La Roja was born in that despair of looking for an alternative project, an economically sustainable project that allows us to generate financial sustainability, first for the reincorporated but also in the medium and long term to seek to turn it into a development engine for the municipality and in a national proposal ”. He goes on to mention, "La Roja has generated a process of internal innovation, where men and women who come from a long confrontation, where our learning had to do with the logic of war and armed confrontation. This has been a new step, because it has been to face things that we did not know - how to make craft beer ”.
The change introduced by La Roja with its social inclusion applies new practices in the promotion of the product, with the intention of being useful for increasing productivity in its process. La Roja invites us to social innovation where it contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, generating decent work spaces in their production processes (currently they have 30 employees), economic growth for people who are part of the process by paying the profits to its associates, opening market opportunities in the municipality, promoting a new productive segment in the municipality such as tourism. Reducing inequalities since La Roja invites the community in general to engage in this innovation through the generation of community training and to the inhabitants of the ETCR - inclusion where the peace agreements signed in 2016 are ratified every day, the red beer (La Rioja) inspires social innovation.
"La Rioja generates a global impact where it shows us that betting on peace benefits a world where every day this goal becomes increasingly difficult to achieve, due to the desire to grow and have development, forgetting inclusion and sustainable growth; where the cessation of an armed confrontation for more than 50 years in Colombia generates opportunities to be a testimony to the world that peace is built, that we must produce and conserve it based on the reduction of inequalities."
La Roja Business Association, began its process approximately two years ago, where it has evolved from the moment the business opportunity was identified, the product manufacturing learning, the marketing method and sale price, up to the sales projection according to Its production capacity. La Roja saw the following as an opportunity for economic analysis:
• Train the people belonging to the ETCRs, in the product production process, this led to the initial investment of 100% of the participants of the ETCR for the start of the project. La Roja currently has 30 employees.
• The craft beer "La Roja", has evolved from making 60 liters at the beginning, to 1,000 liters every 20 days, which is equivalent to 2,700 bottles at a price per bottle of $4,500 COP.
• "We have many customers", says Carlos Alberto, and to meet the demand of the product requires an investment of COP $400,000.00 to expand the production capacity and fulfill orders.
• "A client like Miguel Ángel Bravo, the owner of the “Lubianka” establishment, who sells each bottle of LA ROJA for $ 7,000, states that the product has been well accepted by the clients who, although they find a pleasant taste in it, are motivated and full of desire for collaboration. I see it is a support for the peace process, says Carlos Alberto."
Conflicts such as that of Colombia have had a direct impact on infrastructure and physical capital, a huge cost in human lives and natural resources, as well as an indirect effect on productivity, both local and foreign investment and transaction costs and economic growth .
Finishing it, beyond stopping the costs that the country has meant, opens the door to the for multiple opportunities in different sectors, and creates better conditions for the country's development. The National Planning Department (DNP) estimates the contribution of peace to the expansion of economic activity between 1.1% and 1.9% annually. This would raise the potential growth capacity of the Colombian economy from 4% to between 5.1% and 5.9% annually.
The main mechanism that would stimulate growth with the achievement of peace would be greater confidence. It would accelerate consumption by an additional 2.5% per year, to increase it at a rate of 5.5% per year; as the investment, whose rate would rise by 5.5% of GDP, to leave it at 35% of this in a decade. The contribution of foreign direct investment would increase from 4.6% to 7.6% of GDP. Higher demand would accelerate growth, which would increase per capita income by 54%. The greatest growth would take place based on the expansion of the agricultural (additional 1.4% annual), industrial (0.8% annual) and construction (4.4% annual) sectors. The acceleration of economic activity would reduce the unemployment rate by 1.3%, according to DPN sources "2018".
Nicolas Hurtado "Carlos Alberto", Production Manager - Líder Productivo
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Icononzo, Tolima - Sumapaz, CO
Business Website: LaRojaCerveza
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
“La Roja, a social inclusion project, where the silencing of rifles translates into a generation of decent work by economic growth by developing a product with a taste of peace.” Carlos Alberto. Project leader La Roja.