During our final week, Scott and I have worked extremely hard to finalize our analysis of the Salvadoreño coffee sector and our recommendations for it. At
the same time we’ve had to deal with heightened demands from our roles back at PIMCO following the surprise resignation of Bill Gross. The combination has
led to many long days and nights over the past two weeks.
Nevertheless, we finalized our views and developed a detailed 30 page presentation detailing them. It also included a financial analysis estimating the
time and costs needed to do a national renovation of the country’s outdated coffee farms. Lastly, we translated the presentation to Spanish and developed
our talking notes, as meetings here are not in English.
Fortunately, our presentation was very well received. On our last day in San Salvador, Scott and I presented to four key players in the sector – the
leading public/private oversight entity and three of the largest processing and exporting firms. The picture below is just before our meeting at UNEX, one
of the major processors/exporters.
I was certainly pleased (and a bit relieved!) that each firm wholeheartedly agreed with our views and fairly specific recommendations. But what struck me
more was how appreciative the people were for us having worked so hard to try and help their industry and country, both of which mean a great deal to them.
At the outset, naturally I wondered how much of an impact two gringos with no coffee background could really make in nine weeks. To hear these senior
executives tell us how much it meant to have our views and the weight they carried, since they came from an outside, objective perspective, was extremely