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Making Agriculture Work for the Farmers of the Future

Posted by Alexandra Tuinstra  |  Jan 17, 2017 12:24:15 PM

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Noe Portillo of CAPUCAS, explaining how his cooperative is supporting farmers in diversifying into other crops like tomatoes. 

“If we don’t have coffee… well, we just have to look for another alternative.” In just a few words, CAPUCAS agronomist Noe Portillo perfectly sums up the practical and bold leadership that’s needed in coffee today.

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Topics: Central America, Leadership, Youth

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, Central America

To Loan Officer Olivier Ramírez, Coffee is Everything

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

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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: Central America, 15 Voices Blog Series, Staff Profiles

As Demand Grows, It’s Time to Invest in the Future of Coffee

Posted by Matt Foerster  |  Apr 29, 2016 10:41:49 AM

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This year, the world will consume more coffee than ever before. And industry projections point to growing demand in the years ahead, especially in emerging markets. Take China, for example. During its annual investor meeting last month, Starbucks highlighted that it’s opening the equivalent of one new store in China every day. The problem, however, is that this rising global demand for coffee cannot be met with a dwindling supply.

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Topics: Climate Smart Agriculture, South America, Central America, Issue Brief Series

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: Central America, Root Capital, Risk Management

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

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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, Central America