South America

In the Andes, the landscape is dotted with smallholder farmers making their livelihoods by growing coffee or cocoa.

These farmers are members of cooperatives, associations, or social enterprises that allow them to fetch premium prices on the international market. Our Colombia-based staff work in conjunction with our Peru-based partner organization, ACCDER, to equip these enterprises with the credit and capacity building they need to go even further for South American farming families.

In this region we currently work in Colombia and Peru.

Stories of Impact


Making the Case for Quality: Lessons from Root Capital and Intelligentsia’s First Joint Workshop

When actors across the coffee supply chain invest in quality, everyone benefits—from the farmer who earns better prices to the consumer who enjoys a better cup. Last month, we teamed up with specialty coffee pioneer Intelligentsia and coffee producers from across Colombia to learn how to make coffee better—for the people who drink it and those who grow it.

How This Colombian Co-op is Sowing Seeds of Hope in the Wake of Conflict

For the majority of Colombia’s 53-year civil war, the southern province of Cauca was a stronghold of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). In the dog-eared copy of Lonely Planet that I’ve brought with me, the area isn’t even mentioned. Just ten years ago, it was not a recommended destination for tourists. Today, it not only feels safe; it feels welcoming.

By Working Together, We Can Support Peruvian Coffee Farmers on the Frontlines of Climate Change

For our client businesses in Peru, deforestation and climate change aren’t distant threats. They’re daily realities. Many of these coffee businesses are located at the edge of the Amazon rainforest, the largest contiguous forest in the world. But while it may seem limitless, this precious region is in danger of disappearing forever.

Trabajando juntos podemos apoyar a productores de café peruanos que enfrentan el cambio climático

Para las empresas con las que trabajamos en Perú, la deforestación y el cambio climático no son amenazas lejanas, son realidades cotidianas. Muchos de estos negocios de café se encuentran en el borde de la selva amazónica, contiguo al bosque más grande del mundo. Pero aunque puede parecer que no tiene límites, esta preciosa región está en peligro de desaparecer para siempre.

To Rebuild After Conflict, Latin American Farmers Need An Alternative to the Drug Trade

In this month’s Root Capital Roundup, we explore how the illicit drug trade affects farming communities in three Latin American countries where we work… and how agricultural businesses offer people a peaceful alternative.

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.