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Chair of Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Cafès Cornellà

Fornells de la Selva (Gironès)

Cafès Cornellà, with headquarters in Fornells de la Selva (Gironès), was founded in 1920, and is managed by the third generation of the founding family. With a workforce of 30, a turnover of six million euros and annual production of 900 tonnes, the company mainly sells its product within Catalonia, but also in some areas of the Mediterranean basin and the south of France.

Official page

Pere Cornellà, Managing Director, emphasises the value of being an SME and a family business, and affirms that SMEs must find their sense of purpose in value and differentiation. But he is also committed to a new business culture based on the prefix co-, for cooperating, collaborating and sharing, which should make it possible to save both SMEs and jobs. In fact, he believes that due to the crisis, this has become a fundamental concept to counterbalance domination by multinationals.

With the aim of bringing the best coffee to the customer’s cup, they have boosted laboratory research and quality control, establishing agreements with the University of Girona, and a comprehensive quality system (IQC) has been implemented.

The breakthrough in the business concept came a few years ago, when Cornellà realised that its product was not the coffee bean, but the coffee in the cup. This reflection stemmed from wondering why such a good product can sometimes yield a bad cup of coffee. From observing the combination of negative factors that tend to accumulate at the end of the chain, they decided that the coffee shop professionals, the baristas, had to be brought out of anonymity and properly trained. Since 2000, the company has trained more than 6,000 people. It also organises the Barista Competition, an initiative that allowed it to set up Spain's first barista club, a non-profit organisation created to improve the professional qualifications and recognition of baristas.

Cornellà stresses that we are located in an extraordinary tourist destination that is recognised worldwide as a place where you can eat well, and where the coffee should always be good, but that with the economic crisis we are in a position where it does not appear to matter if the person behind the bar is inexperienced.

Thus, with the intention of recognising establishments that serve excellent coffee, in 2010 Cafés Cornellà created the Punts Espresso quality certification. This distinction is combined with direct ratings by consumers, who via the ‘I’m a coffee lover’ app can rate the service provided by Espresso-certified coffee shops, giving their opinion on the atmosphere, service, or price-quality ratio of a coffee shop.

The investment in a new roaster in 2010 made a pollution avoidance system possible, as the emissions resulting from the process are burnt off. In this way, it does not impact negatively on the environment, says Cornellà.

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