Root Capital and DFC Invest in Rural Women Through the 2X Challenge

When you run a small enterprise in a rural community, it’s difficult to access the financing you need to grow. If you’re a woman running one of these enterprises, it’s even harder. The International Finance Corporation estimates that up to 70% of women-owned enterprises in emerging markets are overlooked by lenders. These women-owned enterprises face a…

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

Un futuro más sostenible para las abejas—y los apicultores—en el sur de México

En la península de Yucatán, México, ubicada lejos del mar, la ciudad de Cacaptxa está llena de abejas. En esta comunidad maya, la miel es más que un negocio, es un punto de referencia cultural. Muchas familias han criado abejas durante generaciones. Algunos aún recuerdan cuando la miel se usaba en lugar de las visitas al médico para cerrar las…

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Topics: Advisory Services | En Español | Environment | Mexico and Central America | Partnerships | Stories of Impact | Women in Agriculture |

A More Sustainable Future for Bees—and their Keepers—in Southern Mexico

On Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, nestled far from the sea, the town of Kankabchen is teeming with honeybees. In this Maya community, honey is more than just a business—it’s a cultural touchstone. Families have raised bees for generations. Some can still remember when honey was used in place of doctors’ visits to close wounds and treat cataracts. Lidia Maribel Moo Poot…

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Topics: Advisory Services | Environment | Mexico and Central America | Partnerships | Stories of Impact | Women in Agriculture |

Harvesting Under Quarantine: One Co-op’s Creative Approach

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of resilient, farmer-focused agricultural enterprises have never been clearer. For example, in Colombia, Root Capital client Federación Campesina del Cauca (FCC) is helping its farmers adapt to social distancing and other restrictions during the all-important coffee harvest season. Sustainable Harvest, one of FCC’s largest buyers and a Root…

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Topics: Livelihoods | Our Community | Partnerships | South America | Stories of Impact |

Reflecting on a 20-Year Partnership with Root Capital

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the lush, coffee-growing region of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Northern Colombia. The Sierra Nevada is a unique coastal mountain range—with altitudes reaching well above 18,000 feet within sight of the Caribbean. Its rugged and steep geography makes travel to the region quite difficult. Driving to a farm only 14 miles from town took me almost four hours.

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Topics: Our Community | Partnerships | South America |

Better Coffee, Better Livelihoods: Lessons from Our Second Joint Workshop with Intelligentsia

"What coffee variety do you think has the lowest quality?” Intelligentsia Coffee’s Director of Sourcing and Shared Value Michael Sheridan asked this question to a room of farmers and business leaders in Honduras last month. “Lempira!” came the unanimous reply. Michael asked a follow-up question: “What is the variety you have planted most on your farms?” Again, the room called out in unison, “Lempira!”

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

Cómo la tecnología digital sistematiza la información para las empresas rurales

La versión original de este blog apareció en inglés en el sitio web del Pace Able Foundation. La cooperativa cafetalera CECAFE se encuentra en Lonya Grande, el cual es un pueblo ubicado en la región montañosa de la región Amazonas, Perú, a un par de horas en carro de la ciudad principal más cercana. Los socios de la cooperativa viven aún más afuera, por caminos  serpenteantes próximos al Parque Nacional Cutervo.

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Topics: Advisory Services | Digital Business Intelligence | En Español | Livelihoods | Mexico and Central America | Partnerships | South America | Stories of Impact |

How Digital Technology is Democratizing Data for Rural Businesses

This post originally appeared on the website of the Pace Able Foundation. The town of Lonya Grande sits in the mountainous region of Amazonas, Peru. It is here, hours by car from the nearest major city, that the coffee cooperative CECAFE has its headquarters. Members of the cooperative live even farther afield, down winding roads in the shadows of the Cutervo National Park.

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Topics: Advisory Services | Digital Business Intelligence | Livelihoods | Partnerships | South America | Stories of Impact |

In Tough Conditions, This Nicaraguan Cooperative Blossoms

Wiston Vílchez had barely turned 24 when he took over as general manager of the fledgling Flor de Dalia coffee cooperative in 2014. At the time, the cooperative consisted of a handful of families who sold their coffee to local brokers at rock-bottom prices. The brokers then sold the coffee on the international market with a huge mark-up—pocketing all the profit for themselves. 

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

How Investing in Young People Sets Coffee Businesses Up for Long-term Success

Duban Gómez Alvarado grew up expecting to one day enter the family business: coffee farming. The Alvarados have worked the flourishing fields of western Colombia for generations—but, in recent years, climate change has imperiled their crop yields. Simultaneously, the global coffee price has plummeted below the cost of production, leaving many farmers without a livable income. “For many years, we have been coffee farmers in my family,” Duban says, “but I am not convinced at the prospect of continuing with my family’s work.”

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Topics: Partnerships | South America | Stories of Impact | Youth |