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Lauren Baum

Lauren drafts original content for online, print, multimedia communications, and supports Root Capital's media relations efforts as needed. Previously, she worked as a communications associate at Climate Nexus in New York. Additionally she worked for Natural Capitalism Solutions in Longmont, Colorado. Lauren holds a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


From 2 A.M. to Sundown: A Day in the Life of Carmen Blandón

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  May 24, 2016 1:35:45 PM

Carmen Blandón, member of Root Capital clien Solidaridad

Carmen Blandón, member of Root Capital client Solidaridad, at her home in Matagalpa, Nicaragua

For 52-year-old Carmen Blandón, her coffee farm is a business. And she’s the boss.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Mexico and Central America

To Loan Officer Olivier Ramírez, Coffee is Everything

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  May 5, 2016 10:48:09 AM


Olivier Ramírez, second from right, with members of Root Captial client Manos Campesinas, a 1,100-member coffee cooperative in Guatemala

Ask someone what coffee means to them, and you might get an answer that references their morning routine, or the bean's ability to help them power through a nine-to-five workday.

But ask Root Capital Senior Loan Officer Olivier Ramírez the same question, and his answer will likely blow you away:

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, Staff Profiles

Taking You Behind the Scenes of Our 2,000 Loans

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Mar 17, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Lots of interesting facts include the number 2,000. Did you know, for instance, that there are 2,000 varieties of rice? Or that there are 2,000 coffee shops in Seattle? 

It’s a very exciting day for us because today we get to add our own fact to this list: As of today, Root Capital has officially disbursed 2,000 loans to small and growing agricultural businesses throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America!

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, News and Announcements

Odds Stacked Against Her, This Woman is Rising to the Top of Her Game

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Mar 8, 2016 8:30:00 AM


Kenia Ubeda, general manager of UCCEI, a Root Capital client in Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Kenia Ubeda never thought she’d be running a coffee business. “I was an agronomist and a coffee farmer,” she says with a smile on her face. “I didn’t know the first thing about commercializing coffee.”

But the community leaders who tapped Kenia to found and run UCCEI, a farmer cooperative in the coffee-fueled town of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, knew she had what it took. And in 2009, Kenia rose to the challenge and became UCCEI’s general manager, overseeing a business currently sourcing from over 900 smallholder farmers in the region.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Mexico and Central America, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

A Journey Through the Coffee Lands of Indonesia

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Jan 14, 2016 5:49:49 PM

When we made our first loan to Indonesian coffee cooperative Ketiara in 2014, it was the first loan we had made in Asia in nearly 10 years. Now, a little over a year later, we have five clients in the region – four of which are high-impact coffee cooperatives situated in the highlands of western Sumatra, in the region around Takengon.

New Zealand-based photographer Blake Dunlop was recently in Indonesia helping us collect photos of the beautiful backdrops of Takengon, the smiling faces of coffee farmers in the region, and a few of the coffee businesses we’re proud to work with. The images he captured were so stunning that we had to share them on our blog. 

Check out the photos below, all courtesy of Blake:


Low lying clouds over coffee farms in the village of Simpang Tiga

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Topics: Southeast Asia

Bringing Opportunity to an Area Marked by Violent Past

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Jan 8, 2016 2:48:27 PM


A young woman picks coffee on a farm associated with the Maya Ixil coop. Credit: Sean Hawkey

With towering oaks, gushing waterfalls and long green stretches of bountiful coffee trees, Guatemala’s Maya Ixil region is a place of lyrical beauty. But listen closely enough, and the lyrics tell an entirely different story – a story of an ugly past marked by heartbreaking violence.

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Topics: Peace, Mexico and Central America, Stories of Impact