Detrás del escenario con el equipo de Asesoría de Root Capital

Lula Pérez, asesora de Root Capital. En diciembre del 2016, con la aproximación del cierre de la Iniciativa para la Resiliencia de los Productores de Café (CFRI, por sus siglas en inglés), aprovechamos la oportunidad para celebrar los resultados de este esfuerzo polifacético de canalizar capital y capacitación a empresas asociativas productoras de café en la lucha contra el brote de la roya en América Latina.

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Topics: Advisory Services | En Español | Mexico and Central America | Staff Profiles |

Sparking a Data Revolution in the Peruvian Andes

Using tablet-based technology to conduct farmer-level surveys allows cooperative managers to analyze trends that inform better management decisions.  In 2014, Root Capital was conducting routine household surveys with farmers in the Peruvian Andes to assess the impact of its work with UNICAFEC, a local coffee cooperative. Noting the tablets and digital surveys used by Root Capital’s research team, Alfredo Alarcón, UNICAFEC’s manager, made a simple request: could Root Capital teach his staff how to use similar technology to perform annual farm inspection audits, a burdensome requirement for organic certification?

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Topics: Advisory Services | South America |

The Efficient Impact Frontier: New Tools to Allocate Capital for Impact

Root Capital, like many impact investors, operates in the gray area between traditional philanthropy and mainstream commercial markets. As a mission-focused lender, the organization serves the financial needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises—a Fair trade coffee cooperative in Uganda or an association of women quinoa producers in Bolivia, for example.

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Topics: Advisory Services | News and Announcements |

How Extension Services Drive Business Success

In December, we published an issue brief focused on the potential of small-and-growing businesses to create shared value for entire supply chains through their agricultural extension services. When delivered effectively, extension services can serve public objectives related to improved farmer livelihoods and environmental conservation, as well as commercial objectives related to procurement and supply chain risk mitigation. In this post, we discuss one example of successful shared value extension from our portfolio. Agriaccess General Manager Tony Poore speaking to one of the Agriaccess farmer groups about an upcoming input delivery

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Topics: Advisory Services | Food Security | Partnerships | West Africa |

Las cuatro principales barreras que limitan el potencial de los servicios de extensión agrícola

Las cooperativas y empresas agrícolas reconocen la importancia de apoyar actividades de desarrollo para los miembros proveedores y sus familias. Al apoyar el desarrollo de los productores con servicios de extensión, el rendimiento y la calidad del producto también aumentan. Sin embargo, se reconoce que hay retos que limitan una implementación exitosa. Procesos de auditoría (due diligence) social y ambiental de Root Capital indican que el 92% de las organizaciones con las que trabajamos en Latinoamérica invierte en servicios de extensión para sus proveedores.

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Topics: Advisory Services | En Español |

Empowering Farmers in the Face of Climate Change

Sonia Vasquez, agricultural extension officer for COMSA, presenting during the first day of the workshop For many of our clients, agricultural extension is a lifeline for the farm families they serve. “Extension,” as it is known in agriculture circles, is the delivery of agronomic best practices that can help farmers increase productivity, adapt to climate change and increase profitability. In December, we released an issue brief that highlighted, among other things, barriers to effective extension and how Root Capital works to help clients overcome these barriers using a shared value approach.

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Topics: Advisory Services | Environment | Mexico and Central America |

Guinea Pigs, Fish and Bees: How Peruvian Clients are Diversifying Livelihoods

Members of Root Capital client CAPEMA, a small coffee cooperative in San Martin, Peru, use beekeeping as an income generating activity. The coffee leaf rust crisis that swept through Latin America from 2011 to 2014 forced many coffee-farming families to find alternative sources of income just to make ends meet. To address this critical need, Root Capital began working with our clients two years ago to explore income diversification opportunities for rural families. Recently, in Lima, Peru, Root Capital and Heifer Peru convened a workshop for representatives from over 40 of these farmer organizations to exchange their experiences with a variety of non-coffee ventures and discuss successful business models for revenue diversification.

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Topics: Advisory Services | South America | Stories of Impact |

The Mango Farmer Who Changed Everything

Mango farmer, Burkina Faso. A few years ago, a mango farmer in Burkina Faso told us something that forever changed the way we interact with our clients and the farmers they serve. “I don’t want to answer any questions,” the farmer said as one of our impact surveyors approached him. “Here you come to ask us the same silly questions that you go sell to aid sponsors…. You’ll ask me my name, my family size, the kinds of goods I have, and so on, and so on.… Go take the answers from the [other organizations’ surveys] we provided last year.”

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Topics: Advisory Services | West Africa |

Tweaking Financial Management Trainings to Better Serve Women: A Checklist

A Root Capital financial management workshop in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. A few years ago, Esperanza Dionisio, the general manager of Pangoa, a coffee cooperative in Peru, told us a story about a meeting she’d recently attended. “There wasn’t a single woman there,” she said. “More than a hundred men, all of them stunned, looking at me like some kind of rare insect. But I had the chance to raise my hand and say something, and they were all shocked. It was just me and all those men, but I had the background and the knowledge, and so in the end they were satisfied, and they appreciated my work.”

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Topics: Advisory Services | Women in Agriculture |

Con un poco de ayuda estas familias de agricultores orgánicos transitan el camino del éxito

En las tierras altas de Marcala, en Honduras, donde las calles no tienen nombre, para poder ir desde la iglesia - el punto principal de referencia que se utiliza en el pueblo– hasta la Cooperativa RAOS (la primera cooperativa de café 100% orgánica del país), es necesario contar con una de estas tres cosas: un mapa muy detallado, una guía local o una buena dosis de suerte.

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Topics: Advisory Services | En Español | Environment | Livelihoods | Mexico and Central America | Stories of Impact |