As Demand Grows, It’s Time to Invest in the Future of Coffee

This year, the world will consume more coffee than ever before. And industry projections point to growing demand in the years ahead, especially in emerging markets. Take China, for example. During its annual investor meeting last month, Starbucks highlighted that it’s opening the equivalent of one new store in China every day. The problem, however, is that this rising global demand for coffee cannot be met with a dwindling supply.

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Topics: Environment | Livelihoods | Mexico and Central America | News and Announcements | Partnerships | South America |

Root Capital Receives Leadership Award at Global Coffee Conference

Pictured: Jorge Cuevas from Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, Fátima Ismael from SOPPEXCCA, Willy Foote, Angelique Karekezi from Rwashoscco, and Ruben Espinoza from Cenfrocafe Last week, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) recognized Root Capital founder and CEO Willy Foote with its 2016 Leadership Medal of Merit. The CQI medal has been presented annually for the past decade during the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Expo, which took place April 14 to 17 in Atlanta.

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Topics: News and Announcements |

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.”

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Topics: Environment | News and Announcements |

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

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

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.

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Topics: Advisory Services | Environment | News and Announcements |

On-the-Ground Insights from Guatemala: Announcing Our First Multi-Client Impact Study

Despite the resurgence of interest and new investment in agricultural development, the supply of actionable data on the impacts of enterprises that work with smallholder farmers trails behind the demand. Our impact studies, launched in 2011 as a complement to the social and environmental metrics collected during due diligence, seek to help address the knowledge gap in the sector. In the studies, we examine the impacts that our clients, small and growing agricultural businesses, have on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and on the environment, and we determine if and how our services increase the enterprises’ impacts. Today we’re excited to release our first multi-site impact study — Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Cooperatives.

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Topics: Mexico and Central America | News and Announcements | Women in Agriculture |

New SSIR Blog Post Highlights Our Vision for Shared Metrics

Earlier in the week, the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (known as ANDE) hosted its annual metrics conference in Washington, DC. At the event, Root Capital was proud to join ANDE and Dalberg Global Development Advisors in introducing a vision for the next phase of impact measurement in the small and growing business (SGB) sector. 

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Topics: Advisory Services | News and Announcements | Our Community |

Root Capital Launches $7 Million, Multi-Year Initiative to Combat La Roya and Build Farmer Resilience

Last summer, Maria Eufemia Madonado Ocaño (pictured above) watched helplessly as almost all of her coffee trees died. The 52-year-old Peruvian farmer and member of Root Capital client Unicafec was unable to stop the devastating spread of coffee leaf rust, called la roya in Spanish. The fungus has been sweeping through coffee-growing regions in Central America and Peru since late 2012.

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Topics: Advisory Services | Environment | Livelihoods | Mexico and Central America | News and Announcements | South America |