John C. Ickis
INCAE Business School Costa Rica
In July 2007, Joris Brinckerhoff, founder and owner of Costa Rica Entomological Supplies (CRES), had to decide whether to accept a request by RBA, a Spanish publisher based in Barcelona, to purchase framed butterflies for its school children collectible program. Joris, who pioneered live chrysalis exports to European and American butterfly exhibitor, had always avoided selling framed or “dead” butterflies, a business he viewed as unstable and low margin. Also, RBA’s request would call for an additional investment as well as an indirect cost increase. However, Joris also thought that RBA’s business might be attractive for CRES and its numerous suppliers across the nation.
At that time, excess chrysalis supply not only damaged his business but also jeopardized the welfare of dozens of growers, including many low-income farming families, and threatened the social progress made over the past few years.