With a team spanning four continents and many countries, we love any opportunity to connect and learn from each other. This summer, for the first time in years, we finally got the chance—with team retreats in the US, Kenya, Peru, and Mexico. After countless Zoom meetings, some folks met each other in person for the very first time. And for all of us, it was a chance to take a step back from the day-to-day and refocus on what really matters: how we can work together to deliver the best and highest impact for underserved rural communities.
Check out the photos below to see how we worked, played, and connected with our clients!
In San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico our Mesoamerica team strategized about how to help client agricultural businesses further adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change. Farmers play a key role in preserving vital ecosystems—and with support to adopt climate-resilient agricultural practices, they can also protect their incomes. For example, our team in the region is providing climate resilience advisory services and piloting an innovative tool to help farmers measure their greenhouse gas emissions.
The US team discussed Root Capital’s journey over the last 20+ years, as well as our five-year strategic plan. In this photo, staff worked in groups to create art that represents Root Capital’s mission to grow rural prosperity and build the resilience of farming families around the world. As you might imagine, there were lots of trees, coffee plants, and roots!
We also took time out for fun. In Africa, the team celebrated the diverse backgrounds of staff members with a “Culture Night,” with participants encouraged to sing, dance, and dress in a way that represents their family history. And how else would the team have fun in Peru except to play a friendly game of fútbol!
It wouldn’t be a Root Capital retreat without the chance to visit the beating heart of our work: our clients. In Kenya, staff were able to visit Afrimac, an agro-processing consortium that sources macadamia nuts from more than 20,000 farmers in the region. With the harvest season coming to an end, we saw the macadamia nuts drying in their shells before they are packaged and sold—or in some cases, pressed into macadamia oil.
In Mexico, the team visited Kulaktik, a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative in the highlands of Chiapas. Kulaktik, a Root Capital lending client since 2020, has nearly 200 farmer-members, most of them from indigenous communities.
While the US team is thousands of miles away from our clients in Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia, the power of Zoom brought us that much closer. Staff heard from Joel Kobia, founder of Root Capital client NutriNuts, who called in from the forests of Mt. Kenya. NutriNuts has been a Root Capital client since 2021 and supports the livelihoods of 1,200 farmers, three-quarters of whom are women.
We also visited a farm right in our backyard—Appleton Farms in Massachusetts, where we learned about the challenges and opportunities of agriculture close to home.
All in all, it was a fun and fulfilling summer for the Root Capital team across our global footprint, and we’re looking forward to taking that energy into our work with and for rural communities.
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