Sol Organica is a certified B-Corporation working to improve the livelihoods of tropical fruit farmers in Nicaragua. The enterprise sources, processes, and exports pureed, juiced, and dried tropical fruits, while working closely with its suppliers to improve agricultural practices. The majority of Sol Organica’s sales come from organic puree of pitahaya, more commonly known as dragon fruit. This and other products—processed from mango, coconut, passionfruit, banana, and other fruits—are exported primarily to the US, as well as Brazil and European markets.
Sol Organica is one of only a few enterprises to connect smallholder fruit producers in Nicaragua to export markets, and one of even fewer that add value to the fruit before export. This model enables Sol Organica to boost the volume of fruits purchases from smallholder farmers, and therefore their incomes. The enterprise also offers training and technical assistance to help farmers increase productivity and secure organic and Fairtrade certifications. As of March 2020, Sol Organica had a network of 1,189 smallholder farmers, 71% of whom were organic-certified. Their supplier base has more than doubled over the past three years. Sol Organica employed 146 people, including 76 permanent employees and 70 temporary works—though the number of temporary workers typically increases to more than 300 during the peak harvest season.
Since 2018, CSAF member MCE Social Capital has made two $200K loans to support Sol Organica’s continued growth. MCE’s financing is helping the business increase its production capacity and diversify its product line so that it can ultimately reach more smallholder farmers. In 2020, CSAF member Triodos also began financing Sol Organica, with a loan of $750K to provide the necessary liquidity to expand exporting activities. Triodos and MCE work in close collaboration to conduct monitoring and due diligence.