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

Posted by Rob Hefferon  |  Sep 24, 2019 12:27:38 PM

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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: South America, Partnerships, Youth, Stories of Impact

How “Talent Partnerships” Unlock Business Growth in Rural Kenya

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Jun 11, 2019 3:00:00 PM

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Eighty kilometers outside of Nairobi, the Patel family’s macadamia factory buzzes with activity. In 2016, Mehul and Chirag Patel founded macadamia processing business Rainsun Nuts; every year since, they’ve doubled their sales. Between their office in Nairobi and their factory in the rural town of Sagana, they’ve created jobs for dozens of people—the majority of whom are women, and many of whom are under 35.

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Topics: East Africa, Partnerships, Advisory Services

To Adapt to a Changing Climate, Coffee Farmers Need Bold Allies

Posted by Abigail Bok  |  Apr 26, 2019 10:38:53 AM

Agronomists assist coffee farmers with a process called stumping

The saw makes a grinding sound as Albert, a young Ugandan agronomist, maneuvers it back and forth slowly, cutting through the trunk of the coffee tree. His colleague Ambrose stands next to him, bracing the tree and readying himself to carefully lower it to the ground once the trunk is severed. They repeat the process, one, two, three times for a single tree, cutting away three small trunks almost to the stump—until there’s just a single spindly-looking branch remaining.

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Topics: East Africa, Environment, Partnerships, Stories of Impact

For Antonio And Roberto, A Small Grant Made A Big Difference

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Apr 17, 2019 6:00:00 AM

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Over the past 20 years, we’ve offered hundreds of coffee businesses the capital and training they need to succeed. But to truly maximize their impact, these businesses sometimes require additional support. That’s why, in partnership with USAID Feed the Future, we launched a Resilience Fund that provides $20,000 grants to some of our highest-performing client businesses in Colombia and Peru.

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Topics: Youth, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

What Fair Trade And Other Coffee Certifications Mean For Farmer Livelihoods

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Apr 9, 2019 10:30:00 AM

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Certifications give consumers insights into where their coffee comes from. But with so many certifications out there, figuring out what each one means can be challenging. Here's a short guide to help you understand the major coffee certifications—and what getting certified means for our client businesses and coffee farmers.

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Topics: Environment, Livelihoods

Meet the New Chair of Root Capital’s Board

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Apr 5, 2019 9:44:15 AM

Ana Zacapa with Root Capital staff and clients in Chiapas, Mexico
Ana Zacapa (third from right) accompanies the Root Capital team to visit client agricultural businesses in southern Mexico.

In December 2017, I was in Chiapas State in southern Mexico when Root Capital’s Senior Manager of Advisory Services for the region, David Lozano, turned to me and said: “I’m so excited she’s on our board, asking such insightful questions—and in her native Spanish!” David was talking about Ana Zacapa, who was accompanying us deep into the mountains of Chiapas to visit coffee and honey cooperatives, and to hear directly from farmers both about the challenges they face and the innovative solutions they can access as part of an agricultural business.

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Topics: News and Announcements, Our Community