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

A Glimpse from the Field: Seeing Peru through My Eyes

If you’ve ever been to Peru, you know that there’s almost a magical energy that permeates the country. The colors, the food, the crazy geographical diversity, the cultural heritage, pride and resilience of its remarkable people – although I’ve been to Peru many times, its novelty truly never fades and my love for it grows deeper with each plate of ceviche. A few weeks ago, I accompanied a small group of Root Capital investors on a trip to the Peruvian countryside, getting a first-hand perspective of Root Capital’s impact by visiting coffee clients and a potential nut client in the San Martin region in the central Andes. As I boarded my flight home, I left feeling inspired and energized by the things we saw, the stories we heard, and the people we met. I think we all did. Here are a few memorable moments from the trip: 

Seeing Impact with My Own Eyes

Root Capital’s impact associate, Faina Rozental, touring a banana cooperative in Piura, Peru. At the heart of my work as an impact associate with Root Capital is analyzing our clients’ social impact data collected by our loan officers. Aggregated, this data gives us a bird’s eye view of how clients across our portfolio likely impact farmer and employee livelihoods.

Visualizing the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative

Following the announcement of our Coffee Farmer Resilience Fund in July, many people have asked how the fund differs from our Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative, launched last November. In short, the Coffee Farmer Resilience Fund is a component of the larger Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative that channels private-sector funding, matched by the public sector and philanthropic sources, for targeted supply chain investments at the base of the supply chain. The diagram above is designed to illustrate the interplay between the two, and the text below explains the impetus and rationale for each.  

The Power of Financial Literacy: A Conversation with Cecilia Yáñez

Cecilia (center) with Root Capital CEO Willy Foote (right) and a member of APBOSMAM banana association in Piura, Peru We sat down with Cecilia Yáñez, a senior investment analyst at Root Capital’s Lima-based partner organization ACCDER, to get the inside scoop on her work in northern Peru. Lately, Cecilia has been working with our Financial Advisory Services team to…

Celebrating The Coffee Exchange’s 30-Year Commitment to Farm Families

Charlie Fishbein, owner of Coffee Exchange café in Providence, Rhode Island. Growing rural prosperity for the world’s poorest farmers requires collaboration across entire value chains, from the small businesses who make up our clients, to the traders, brands and retailers who purchase their products, to the consumers who value sustainably-produced goods.  At Root Capital, we don’t often celebrate consumers,…

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.