These Guatemalan Farmers Are Harnessing the Power of Digital Data With Help From Root Capital

Since the advent of the internet, digital technology has revolutionized the coffee industry. Buyers price their contracts with algorithmic software. Roasters optimize the flavor of their beans by controlling heat to a fraction of a degree. Even baristas use high-tech kits to test the chemical makeup of their brews. But while the world has changed around them, many coffee farmers have been left out.

Read more

Topics: Advisory Services | Digital Business Intelligence | Environment | Livelihoods | Stories of Impact |

To Adapt to a Changing Climate, Coffee Farmers Need Bold Allies

The saw makes a grinding sound as Albert, a young Ugandan agronomist, maneuvers it back and forth slowly, cutting through the trunk of the coffee tree. His colleague Ambrose stands next to him, bracing the tree and readying himself to carefully lower it to the ground once the trunk is severed. They repeat the process, one, two, three times for a single tree, cutting away three small trunks almost to the stump—until there’s just a single spindly-looking branch remaining.

Read more

Topics: East Africa | Environment | Partnerships | Stories of Impact |

What Fair Trade And Other Coffee Certifications Mean For Farmer Livelihoods

Certifications give consumers insights into where their coffee comes from. But with so many certifications out there, figuring out what each one means can be challenging. Here's a short guide to help you understand the major coffee certifications—and what getting certified means for our client businesses and coffee farmers.

Read more

Topics: Environment | Livelihoods |

How Climate Change Impacts Women Farmers—and What We’re Doing About It

Maria Eufemia Madonado Ocaño holds a small leaf in her hands, mottled yellow where it should be vibrant and green. This leaf represents her livelihood, decimated by la roya—a fungus that develops when conditions are warmer and wetter than usual. The yellow spots are a symptom, but the disease is climate change.

Read more

Topics: Environment | News and Announcements | Women in Agriculture |

How Root Capital and the IKEA Foundation are Building the Resilience of Smallholder Farmers in East Africa

Photo: USAID/Siegfried Modola Root Capital and the IKEA Foundation are announcing a new partnership, worth €4.8 million, to help 260,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda increase their income and adapt to climate change. The grant builds on the success of a previous partnership, through which Root Capital supported dozens of Kenyan agricultural businesses, helping them break the cycle of poverty in rural communities.

Read more

Topics: East Africa | Environment | Livelihoods | News and Announcements |

With the Support of Her Co-op, Coffee Farmer Ana Delia Becerra Is Branching Out Into Ecotourism

By the time the sun rises at Finca Eskandia, the farm has already come alive.

Read more

Topics: Environment | Peace | South America | Stories of Impact |

Supporting Farmers, Sustaining the Planet

Rising temperatures. Devastating storms. Drought. To farmers, this is more than a weather report: it’s a matter of survival.

Read more

Topics: Environment |

On “The Road Where Life Was Once Worth Nothing,” This Business Gives Farmers Purpose

Thirty years ago, this place looked very different. Nestled in the foothills where the Amazon rainforest meets the towering Andes Mountains, the Peruvian town of San Martín de Pangoa exudes an aura of calm. Life seems to move at a leisurely pace; ambling through the town’s mostly-unpaved streets, you’ll see mototaxis rumble slowly past indigenous women cradling their babies in brightly-colored wool blankets. The hills rising above the town are patchworked with a lattice of small farms, and every moto and pickup truck seems to be laden with nearly-bursting sacks of coffee.

Read more

Topics: Environment | Peace | South America | Stories of Impact | Women in Agriculture | Youth |

Organic Agriculture: How This Costa Rican Co-op is Growing a Better Future for Its Farmers

In Walter Elizondo Naranjo’s office in San Antonio, Costa Rica, hangs a large banner with pictures of pineapple, bananas, and oranges. 100% orgánico, the banner proudly states. Looking at the banner, Walter grins broadly. “This is COOPEASSA.”

Read more

Topics: Environment | Mexico and Central America |

What’s the Buzz? How Rural Businesses Face the Global Bee Crisis Head-on

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about bees—and not all of it’s good. Around the world, honeybees are dying out. But what does this really mean—and how are agricultural businesses addressing this crisis?

Read more

Topics: Environment | Mexico and Central America |