Agriculture in the Age of Climate Change

Today, we're thrilled to announce the release of our latest issue brief, Investing in Resilience: A Shared Value Approach to Agricultural Extension.  This issue brief is the third in a series supported by the Skoll Foundation and the Citi Foundation.  As world leaders gather in Paris this week for the latest round of climate change talks, there is increasing attention on the role of agriculture as “both a victim of and a contributor to climate change.”

Read more

Topics: Environment | News and Announcements |

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.

Read more

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

With A Little Help, These Organic Farming Families are Navigating the Road to Success

Root Capital CEO Willy Foote visting Cooperativa RAOS in 2013. In the sleepy, highland town of Marcala, Honduras, there are no street names. To get from Marcala’s church – the town’s main point of reference – to Cooperativa RAOS, the country’s first 100 percent organic coffee cooperative just outside of town, you’d better have one of three things: a detailed map, a local guide, or a healthy dose of luck.

Read more

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

How Can We Make Agriculture Work for the World?

When I envision how to make agriculture work for the world, I think of a system that feeds the global population of nine billion that is expected by 2050 — especially those in cycles of chronic hunger and malnutrition. I think of better farming practices that increase yields and productivity, and that dramatically improve incomes for small-scale producers and the rural poor. I think of an enlightened food industry, as locally based as possible, that creates good jobs across every value chain and protects fragile ecosystems and biodiversity everywhere. And I think of agriculture as a crucial equalizer of opportunity for women and girls, one that provides dignity for the most marginalized populations on earth.   Visiting with coffee farmers on the shores of Lake Kivu in western Rwanda

Read more

Topics: Environment | Food Security | News and Announcements | Partnerships |

Sustainable Agriculture Depends on Women

Stella Kimemia of Classic Foods | photo credit: Partners in Food Solutions. It’s an inspiring thing to see a woman-led business increasing livelihoods for women farmers and employees in parts of the world that markets struggle to reach. It’s even more powerful when that business does so while having a positive impact on the physical environment. At Root Capital, investing in those kinds of businesses – high-impact, gender-inclusive, focused on agriculture – is our sweet spot. We provide loans and capacity-building services to these enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America, giving them the critical capital they need, but all too often cannot access, to grow their business and scale their impact.

Read more

Topics: East Africa | Environment | Women in Agriculture |

Asuom, Ghana: Where Sustainable Palm Oil is Not an Oxymoron

Serendipalm employees in Asuom, Ghana. Photo credit: Dr. Bronner's. One hundred miles northwest of Accra, Ghana, sits Asuom, a village of surprising and beautiful contrasts and contradictions. The vermilion clay earth and rust-tin roofs in Asuom pop in contrast to the verdant greens of forests nearby. But it’s within these forests that an even more unexpected paradox exists: large, splayed trees producing sustainable palm oil. Four thousand acres of trees are cultivated by the 670 farmer members of Root Capital client Serendipalm – the world’s first, and largest, fair trade and organic certified palm oil company.

Read more

Topics: Environment | Livelihoods | Stories of Impact | West Africa | Women in Agriculture |

Looking at Agriculture in a Different Light this Earth Day

Read more

Topics: Environment |

15 Voices: An Interview with Esperanza Dionisio Castillo

Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera Pangoa (Pangoa), a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative located in San Martin de Pangoa, Peru, has been a Root Capital client for nearly a decade. Pangoa is a shining example of the power of the cooperative in local communities, and it’s unique in many ways – first and foremost, because it’s led by a woman. For the latest post in our 15 Voices blog series, we’re excited to share a recent interview with Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, Pangoa’s general manager, a true visionary who has been recognized internationally for her effective managerial skills and impressive commitment to Pangoa’s members and the broader community.

Read more

Topics: Environment | Livelihoods | Our Community | Stories of Impact | Women in Agriculture |

Shade-Grown Coffee: What’s the Big Deal?

If you bought a cup of certified coffee recently, chances are high it might have been brewed using "shade-grown" beans. But what is shade-grown coffee exactly, and why is it important?

Read more

Topics: Environment | Livelihoods | Mexico and Central America | South America |

New Tools to Assess Social and Environmental Practices in Smallholder Supply Chains

One year ago, we published our inaugural issue brief on the emerging business case for financial institutions to conduct due diligence on the social and environmental practices of their borrowers and investees. To stimulate a broader dialogue on the topic, we also released the social and environmental scorecards that Root Capital loan officers use to evaluate the performance of our clients: small and growing businesses (SGBs) that aggregate and serve thousands of smallholder farmers.

Read more

Topics: Advisory Services | Environment | News and Announcements |