Transforming Lives: The Café Franqueza Project


HP Graphics Solutions

For more than 110 years, the companies of Ercus Group have provided innovative solutions to their customers while demonstrating a commitment to a sustainable future for Mexico. Ercus is primarily a food and beverage group that also works closely with farmers to improve crop yields, conserve resources and help them overcome poverty. Since the 1950s Ercus Group has been printing its own packaging in a continually growing operation supporting its food and agricultural business.

To support its commitment to a sustainable future for Mexico, Alejandro España, Ercus Group’s chairman, established the Ercus Foundation, a non-governmental, non-profit organization helping farmers in his native Mexico. The foundation goes beyond fair payment for crops to include financial aid, economic education, the development of technologies and partnerships, and even the use of personalized, digitally-printed packaging for innovative, attention grabbing marketing.

The Ercus Foundation’s latest venture, the Café Franqueza project, is focused on the country’s coffee growers. Café Franqueza has brought together the resources of international organizations, including the Walmart Foundation, to help tens of thousands of farmers improve their farming practices.


Ercus Group understood the benefits of digital print technology and invested in an HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press which is designed specifically for the production of flexible packaging. Its larger format proved to be ideal for printing coffee bags. A strong image and identity was then developed for Café Franqueza.

Uniting the farmers under the Café Franqueza brand has given the initiative a recognizable face, while the use of digital printing has given the brand a shelf presence that enables it to compete with established brands.

The press’ personalization capability means that the coffee doesn’t have a single brand face, but thousands of them.

“The HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press provides the packaging, the story behind the producer and a photo of each of the producers we are working with,” España explains. “It means we don’t just have to make one packet with the story of one person that we can’t change, but that we can print various packets with photos of Pedro, Petra, Juan – with all our producers – showing how consuming this product, buying this product, is helping how they live and their quality of life.”

With Ercus Foundation’s vision and effort, supported by HP digital printing technology, marketing is moving into packaging; a distinctive, new brand is appearing on supermarket shelves, and lives are being transformed.

To learn more about the Café Franqueza project go to To discover how HP digital printing can meet your challenge, please visit



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