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Aguardiente and rum: trademarks of Cundinamarca

Article - February 3, 2014
Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca (Cundinamarca Liquor Company) is one of the region’s most iconic companies, with over 100 years of experience
CARLOS ALBERTO MEZA, MANAGER OF EMPRESA DE LICORES DE CUNDINAMARCA
Cundinamarca is Colombia’s most competitive department. It contributes 27 percent to the country’s GDP and is the largest export region.

Many, like Carlos Alberto Meza, Manager of Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca (Cundinamarca Liquor Company), believe the region’s history has much to do with the way it has thrived through the years. “Cundinamarca is a bastion of our independence.

Many of its people fought in the war and supported the independence with their courageous temperaments,” recalls Mr Meza. “Today, Cundinamarca is a progressive department. Its territory offers various products, its lands are fertile and its location, near Bogota, makes it more competitive and dynamic. All of which makes it ideal for foreign investors.” 
 
Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca One is one of the region’s most iconic companies. It was founded in 1905 by then governor Agustín Morales and since then it has grown significantly (today the company has 23 percent of the national aguardiente market). Initially the company was dedicated to perfumes, but in the late fifties it decided to enter the liquor market.

For a time they produced whisky, gin and many other liquors but as the national market became more specialized, so too did Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca. 
 
According to data from the Colombian Association of Liquor Companies, by October 2013 fifty million bottles of aguardiente (750ml) had been sold in Colombia, a number way over that of other alcoholic beverages like wine or whisky. Clearly, it is the country’s preferred liquor.

In response, the Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca started focusing on that particular product long ago. “Today our strongest brands are Aguardiente Néctar and Santa Fe Rum,” explians Mr Meza, adding that “the company’s growth in the last few years has been affected by the competition of similar products”. Nonetheless, aguardiente Néctar has 83 percent of the department’s market. 
 
Because it is a company born in the department and it identifies with its people’s character and traditions, it is also dedicated to improving their quality of life. They not only promote responsible consumption intensely, they sponsor sports – especially football – with a clear message that alcohol should be consumed responsibly and away from sports scenarios. “It is our duty as a company.

Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca is an industrial and commercial company of the department. Its objective is to generate resources for health and education. We believe our publicity has to be placed within ethical principles and social values that contribute to the improvement of our society, from the young generations to the drivers and future mothers, all without forgetting about having fun,” explains Mr. Meza. 
 
One example of that intention is their “star product”, Néctar Club, a product designed specifically for young people, because it has a lower alcohol level. “It is a clear message and a compromise the company made, by sacrificing its profits. Our messages are designed to protect and teach the consumer instead of promoting immeasurable consumption,” says Mr. Mesa. 
 
The products of Empresa de Licores de Cundinamarca compete in quality directly with products from all over the world, from Central America to South Africa and Europe. The company has won several important prizes at the Monde Selection – the prestigious annual awards given to food and drinks worldwide – and as well as the International High Quality Trophy in Brussels. “Our products are traditional, innovative and high quality liquors, which compete with the very best on an international level,” says Mr. Meza proudly. 

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