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Root Capital lends to clients who support social and environmental sustainability  through the production of shea butter, handcrafts, and spices. Root Capital is also lending to an increasing number of clients who produce food crops intended for local consumption, such staples as corn, rice, and finger millet. By supporting small-scale producers, Root Capital is creating sustainable livelihoods for thousands of rural producers and growing rural prosperity.

Stories

  • Produits du Sud is a Malian company that works with rural farmers to harvest and sell valuable resins from indigenous Gum Arabic and Gum Karaya trees. The business has been extremely successful and European demand for the products is high. Resin harvesting also offers the benefits of reforestation and the diminished removal of trees.

  • Copiasuro is an association of fair trade honey producers located in the highlands of Guatemala. One of the first participants in Root Capital’s financial training program, Copiasuro has enjoyed a growth in volume, sales and community impact in recent years. Today, the cooperative boasts a membership of 175 beekeepers who manage, on average, more than 75 beehives each.

  • Consorcio Agro-artesanal Dulce Orgánico (CADO) is a cooperative of small-scale sugarcane growers in the Ecuadoran Andean region that distills organic alcohol from sugarcane for use in cosmetics. Through a combination of environment-friendly farming, gender-inclusive membership practices and positive social impact, CADO, led by its president Cecilia Arcos, has become the first ever exporter of fair trade and organic certified alcohol and has seen its sales volume nearly triple in the last two years. 

  • In 2011, Nyirefami received its first working capital loan from Root Capital to finance the purchase of raw millet during and just after the harvest season.  This financing has enabled the organization to nearly triple its quarterly purchases. 

  • Raymisa is a Peruvian producer and exporter of sustainable textiles, furniture, and home décor products. A Root Capital client since 2007, Raymisa provides traditional artisans with markets for their goods, increasing incomes for hundreds of artisans and their families. This helps to stabilize rural communities and to ensure that Peruvian crafts will be kept alive by a new generation of artisans.

  • Freshco, a Root Capital client since 2010, is a Kenyan company that sells high-yield, drought-resistant seed, primarily maize, to small-scale farmers. Maize seed that is optimized for the climates of Kenya’s various regions can produce up to two times more grain per hectare than ordinary seed. By providing better seed to farmers, Freshco is helping to feed a nation in which nearly three million are food insecure.

  • SumakLife, a Root Capital client since 2010, is an Ecuadoran cooperative that grows and processes organic quinoa. The cooperative provides technical assistance to members and purchases quinoa from 1,700 indigenous farmers, more than 60 percent of whom are women. By enabling rural women to earn fair trade and organic premiums for their crops, SumakLife helps them lead more prosperous, secure, and dignified lives.

  • Founded in 2009 by South African cotton entrepreneur Bruce Robertson, the Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC) is stimulating cotton growth in Uganda's impoverished Gulu district and creating economic opportunities for more than 40,000 smallholder farmers. GADC has received more than $3.5 million in financing over the past two years.  Lending to GADC positively impacts the company's organic cotton output and helps civil war refugees in the region improve their livelihoods.

  • Founded in 2006, Savannah Fruits Company is a private enterprise that exports shea butterwith the goal of creating more direct commercial links between shea butter producers and the global cosmetic ingredient markets. With financing from Root Capital, Savannah Fruits is helping to ensure that Ghanaian women shea producers receive training in quality control and consistent access to premium prices in global markets.

  • Laguna Baja ARIC is a federation of nine community-based ecotourism enterprises operating in the San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. The San Ignacio Lagoon is the last pristine gray whale birthing lagoon left on the Pacific coast of northwestern Mexico. Don Pachico runs Pachio’s Ecotours. Root Capital has been his only source of credit since 2002.

  • The Liberian Women’s Sewing Project (LWSP) is a sustainable apparel manufacturer based in Monrovia, Liberia. Established in 2009, the company is part-owned and operated by Liberian women. The organization directs 75 percent of its profits toward community development projects. The remaining profits stay within the enterprise, allowing each worker to build equity over time. In 2010, Root Capital was LWSP’s first source of financing.

  • Organic Blooming is an Ecuadorian company that produces and exports organic calla lilies. Founded in 2003, the business owns a farm with approximately 200,000 plants. The farm has achieved organic certification, and the company is committed to environmentally sound agricultural practices, to the furthering of biodiversity in the area, and to a socially responsible attitude regarding its employees.