Resources

We are building a more effective field through original research and analysis. Our publications are reflective and data-driven, with a laser focus on maximizing impact.







Root Capital: A Case Study in Impact Investing

In this article for Americas Quarterly, we explain how Root Capital introduces big investors to small rural farmers and cooperatives—with dramatic results.




Case Study: Tziscao

Tziscao aggregates and markets organic- and fair trade–certified coffee from 485 farmers in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. With this impact study, we seek to understand both the cooperative’s likely impacts on its members and of Root Capital’s impact on the cooperative, with regards to both farmer livelihoods and environmental performance.




Rapid Impact Evaluation: Fruiteq

Fruiteq is a private enterprise that sources Fair Trade- and organic-certified mangoes from 830 small-scale farmers in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast. This is the first case study Root Capital has conducted in the fresh fruits and vegetables sector. It provides practical lessons on the appropriate loan structure and risks particular to the value chain.




Rapid Impact Evaluation: COOPCAB

COOPCAB is a coffee cooperative in southeastern Haiti near the border with the Dominican Republic. In this study, we seek to understand and document the cooperative’s various social and economic impacts and the effect Root Capital’s loans have had on COOPCAB’s operations.




Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives

Drawing from findings from four individual studies of coffee cooperatives in Guatemala, this “cluster study” explores whether Root Capital’s financing and training enable our clients to increase their impacts—and if so, to what extent.




Closing the Gap: Reaching the Missing Middle and Rural Poor Through Value Chain Finance

In an article featured in Entreprise Development and Microfinance , we put the focus on external financial institutions operating in Africa and Latin America. These institutions are using innovative approaches to value chain finance to serve both small-scale rural producers and the small and growing businesses that link them to urban and export markets.




Conservation Finance in the Galápagos Islands: Capitalizing the Missing Middle

This chapter appeared in Conservation Capital in the Americas. In it, we examine the experiences of two ecotourism enterprises in the Galápagos Islands as they assess the potential environmental and social impacts of certification in sustainable tourism.




Global Agricultural Value Chains: Sustainable Growth as a Means for Sustainable Development

In this article, featured in the San Francisco Fed’s Community Development Investment Review, we discuss Root Capital’s model for sustainable economic development, addressing the financing needs of rural small and growing businesses, and building agricultural value chains.




Financing Farm Renovation: How to Build Resilience Using a Blend of Capital

More than two years after the launch of the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative, we share initial learning and recommendations on how to design financial products and services for long-term farm renovation. Discover how leading coffee companies—along with the public sector, private foundations, and impact investors—are using a blend of capital to invest in the future of coffee.




An Agricultural Peace Dividend

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, our Founder and CEO discusses how in northern Uganda—home to one of Africa’s longest and most brutal civil conflicts—organic farming is producing economic growth and stability.


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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2018 Mid-Year Report
by Root Capital

During the first half of 2018, we reached 223,000 women producers by lending to 183 agricultural businesses in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. We are pleased to share our Women in Agriculture Initiative 2018 mid-year report, which showcases our latest innovations in gender equity.

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Ag Stigma Be Damned: Flipping the Script for Young People, Farming and Investment
by Will McAneny

The world's 1.2 billion young people represent either a huge demographic challenge or a massive opportunity. By supporting agricultural businesses that recognize the necessity of investing in the next generation, we can ensure that opportunity is unlocked.

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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2017 Annual Report
by Root Capital

Since launching the Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) in 2012, we've seen again and again how gender-inclusive businesses help women grow a better future—for themselves and their communities. We are pleased to share our 2017 WAI annual report, which showcases how Root Capital is impacting the lives of rural women.

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Gender Equity Grants: Evaluating Key Benefits for Businesses, Workers, and Farmers
by Root Capital and Value for Women

Rural women often face gendered barriers that limit their ability to be productive, control assets and incomes, and benefit equitably from their hard work. In 2016, Root Capital began disbursing Gender Equity Grants to client agricultural businesses to implement strategies aimed at improving women’s overall quality of life and their representation in the business. In this summary, we present an assessment of these activities and the reported results.

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Toward the Efficient Impact Frontier
by Michael McCreless

The impacting investing sector has long lacked the right tools to ensure critical dollars are allocated in a way that generates both impact and revenue. In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, we introduce the “efficient impact frontier,” a powerful approach to building a portfolio with the greatest possible impact for the level of expected return.

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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2016 Annual Report
by Root Capital

At Root Capital, we believe fiercely that women are critical to breaking the cycle of poverty, hunger, and environmental degradation in rural areas of the developing world. That's why we're thrilled to share our 2016 Women in Agriculture Annual Report, which details the progress we’ve made over the last year through the WAI and the strategies we’ve implemented to increase economic opportunities for women around the world.

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How Employees At The World’s Largest Companies Are Assisting Entrepreneurs Across Africa
by Willy Foote

As part of the aptly named Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), some of the world’s largest food and agricultural companies are harnessing 693 years of combined experience to strengthen small- and medium-sized enterprises throughout Africa.

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Climate Refugees Are Leaving the Farm Behind
by Willy Foote

Today, millions of the world’s most vulnerable people are fleeing from places where agriculture remains the backbone of rural economies, as the dire consequences of climate change—crop failure due to drought, for example—come into focus.

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To Invest In The Future Of Coffee, Starbucks Turns To The Capital Markets
by Willy Foote

By issuing the first U.S. corporate sustainability bond, Starbucks can generate yield for financiers and farmers alike.

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Can Silicon Valley’s Big Bet On Agriculture Help Small-Scale Farmers In Developing Countries?
by Willy Foote

A lack of reliable information is among the most frustrating obstacles to unlocking the potential of agriculture. But as investment in AgTech heats up, what value does big data offer small-scale farmers at the end of dirt roads in the hardest-to-serve markets on earth?

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