Root Capital, Central America

In the world of food commodities, small farmers in Central America and Mexico fail to reap the full benefits of their work. Throughout the region, many coffee, honey and cocoa producers have formed farmer-run cooperatives in a bid to use their collective power to access global markets that they cannot reach alone. However, these businesses often lack access to critical assets and know-how. Chronically under-resourced, they suffer from weak financial and accounting practices. As a result, they often struggle to provide adequate training for their farmers to keep up with buyers’ demand for high-quality products or diversify into new products.

Where they work

In partnership with the Puma Energy Foundation, Root Capital intervenes by extending essential financial and agronomic training to 12 honey and cocoa cooperatives in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. From financial literacy, planning and analysis, to accounting, internal controls, pricing, and profit margins, the organisation offers customised work plans for each cooperative to address their specific needs. One of them is Cooperative Maya Ixil, a coffee cooperative in Guatemala. Root Capital is helping this cooperative diversify into honey production, an important economic alternative as climate change and crop diseases have severely threatened coffee production in the last years. “We are grateful to Root Capital and the training that it offered us. Their support helped us develop those tools and knowledge that are necessary to manage a honey production unit and control the value chain of this product, from production to trade”, says the Director of the Cooperative.

© Sean Hawkey

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