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CECAFE

In northern Peru, the CECAFE cooperative connects over 900 Fairtrade- and organic-certified coffee farmers in the town of Lonya Grande with the international market. Root Capital was the first CSAF member to work with CECAFE, providing a loan of $200K in 2011. Since then, CSAF members have been pivotal in accompanying the cooperative’s growth with timely and flexible financing. In 2021, five lenders extended CECAFE a total of $4.5M. Over the past decade, CECAFE has quadrupled its sales by leveraging a cumulative $28M in lending from Oikocredit, Rabo Rural Fund, Root Capital, Shared Interest, and URAPI Fund (operated by Ecotierra). In recent years, shifting weather patterns have caused unpredictable flooding that damages coffee while rising temperatures lead to pest infestations and crop disease. With support from Shared Interest’s charitable arm, Shared Interest Foundation, CECAFE is now producing a natural pesticide to protect coffee plants from harmful insects. Partnering with Root Capital’s digital business intelligence services, CECAFE is also using data about its members to create tailored adaptation plans to ensure that farmers receive the right training and inputs they need to respond to their specific climate threats. In mid-2021, a 50kg bag of fertilizer in Lonya Grande cost $20. Less than a year later, supply chain breakdowns and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have tripled that cost. With the support of CSAF members, CECAFE produces organic compost from coffee husks and animal manure, selling it to its farmer-members for just $10 with the opportunity to pay in installments. This program means that farmers can keep their costs low while maintaining organic certification and stewarding the local ecosystem. A well-managed enterprise like CECAFE, with committed partners, can provide certifications, market access, and technical assistance to ensure that farmers are resilient and prosperous in the face of climate and market challenges.

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