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Sparking a Data Revolution in the Peruvian Andes

Posted by Zehra Ijaz  |  Jan 24, 2017 6:00:00 AM

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Using tablet-based technology to conduct farmer-level surveys allows cooperative managers to analyze trends that inform better management decisions. 

In 2014, Root Capital was conducting routine household surveys with farmers in the Peruvian Andes to assess the impact of its work with UNICAFEC, a local coffee cooperative. Noting the tablets and digital surveys used by Root Capital’s research team, Alfredo Alarcón, UNICAFEC’s manager, made a simple request: could Root Capital teach his staff how to use similar technology to perform annual farm inspection audits, a burdensome requirement for organic certification?

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Topics: South America, Root Capital, Advisory Services, Mobile ICT

What's It Like to Run a Coffee Business?

Posted by Catherine Gill  |  Jun 18, 2016 7:30:00 AM

A look at the challenges and decisions that agricultural entrepreneurs experience over the course of a year. 

PART I: HARVEST

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Topics: Root Capital

Root Capital Receives Leadership Award at Global Coffee Conference

Posted by Matt Foerster  |  Apr 18, 2016 10:37:00 AM

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Pictured: Jorge Cuevas from Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, Fátima Ismael from SOPPEXCCA, Willy Foote, Angelique Karekezi from Rwashoscco, and Ruben Espinoza from Cenfrocafe

Last week, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) recognized Root Capital founder and CEO Willy Foote with its 2016 Leadership Medal of Merit. The CQI medal has been presented annually for the past decade during the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Expo, which took place April 14 to 17 in Atlanta.

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Topics: Root Capital

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

Introducing Peter Bernard, Root Capital’s New Chief Operating Officer

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  Mar 1, 2016 2:02:42 PM

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Peter Bernard, second from left, with his wife Susan, far right, and the Root Capital team in Senegal

 

Today, Peter Bernard joins Root Capital as our first chief operating officer.

A Wall Street veteran who most recently served as the chief risk officer at the global investment firm D.E. Shaw & Company, Peter is coming on board to lead Root Capital’s finance, lending, risk, advisory services, and talent functions.

Peter has been a part of the Root Capital family for quite some time, serving as a member of our board of directors from 2011 until just last week when he participated in his final meeting as a member, serving as vice chair. He and Root Capital Founder and CEO Willy Foote recently had an opportunity to chat about the evolution of Peter’s role at Root Capital and what to expect as Peter takes the helm as our first COO.

An edited transcript of their conversation is below.

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Topics: Leadership, Root Capital, Risk Management

Maximizing Impact — at a Cost

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Jan 27, 2016 9:39:00 AM

We met Pamela Anyoti Peronaci six years ago, shortly after she founded Sunshine Agro Products, a chili and spice export business in Uganda. She had a true passion for business, and she envisioned building a company that would engage hundreds, maybe thousands, of smallholder farmers in sustainable agriculture to promote social and economic development in Soroti, one of Uganda’s poorest districts. 

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Pamela Anyoti Peronaci, founder of Sunshine Agro Products

Bootstrapping her savings, Pamela established a network of farmers, the logistics required to deliver a high-quality product to market, and relationships with European buyers committed to purchasing all of the company’s production.

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Topics: East Africa, Root Capital, Impact Assessment, Willy Foote