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Eighty percent of the world’s coffee is produced by small-scale farmers with as many as 25 million coffee farmers depending on coffee for their livelihoods. Root Capital lending helps cooperatives of small-scale farmers supply export markets that pay premium prices for sustainably-grown coffee. By enabling more farmers to reach these markets, loans from Root Capital support sustainable livelihoods for rural families and their communities.


  • With towering oaks, gushing waterfalls and long green stretches of bountiful coffee trees, Guatemala’s Maya Ixil region is a place of lyrical beauty. But listen closely enough, and the lyrics tell an entirely different story – a story of an ugly past marked by heartbreaking violence.

  • Founded in 2002, Cooperativa Multisectorial Productores de Café Organico de Matagalpa (COOMPROCOM) has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years, exceeding even its own growth and export projections. In Nicaragua where an estimated 95% of coffee farmers are small-scale producers, COOMPROCOM has helped its 250 members in the northern part of the country secure premium prices for their high-quality coffee. 

  • A longtime Root Capital client, C.A.C. Chirinos coffee cooperative provides top-notch services to its members in the Cajamarca region of Peru and premium coffee to specialty buyers in the United States and Europe. Confronted with challenges like climate change and market volatility, C.A.C. Chirinos has taken many proactive measures to ensure the continued resilience, productivity and profitability of its 600 members.

  • Nestled in the buffer zone of the El Triunfo Biosphere in Chiapas, Mexico, Triunfo Verde is a coffee cooperative that grows organic and fair trade-certified coffee. In 2000, Triunfo Verde was a new cooperative of fewer than 100 members with a young management structure. Today, it has more than 346 members, and it is known for its transparent accounting and management practices.

  • COOPCAB, a Fair Trade coffee cooperative and Root Capital client, operates in one of Haiti’s few remaining tracts of rainforest in a country where less than 1.5 percent of the land is forested. Through its reforestation program and purchase of fairly priced specialty coffee, COOPCAB provides a powerful link between environmental conservation and economic benefit for its 5,000 producer members.

  • Pangoa is a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative located in San Martín de Pangoa, Peru. Pangoa's 207 active members are small-scale farmers who cultivate shade-grown coffee, cocoa, and honey. A Root Capital client since 2006, Pangoa is well known for its innovative community programs and initiatives. The cooperative uses revenue from Fair Trade coffee sales to sponsor projects in reforestation, health, and education.

  • In 2005, the Dukundekawa coffee cooperative, also known as Musasa, became Root Capital’s first client in Africa. Since its founding in 2004, Musasa has grown from 300 to more than 1,800 members—among them many women who were made widows by the 1994 genocide.

  • By linking economic opportunities with environmental stewardship, Mountain Coffee, a 10 year-old coffee cooperative with more than 450 members, is providing a positive model for protecting the fragile biodiversity of the Amazon. A Root Capital client since 2009, Mountain Coffee produces organic and sustainable coffee for buyers like Keurig Green Mountain.

  • CECOCAFEN, is a Fair Trade-certified association of more than 2,500 small-scale coffee producers in the North-Central highlands of Nicaragua. A Root Capital client since 2003, CECOCAFEN actively supports gender inclusion through initiatives such as savings group for women, which provide 600 women producers with access to micro-loans and household savings products.

  • PRODECOOP’s motto—“Behind every cup of coffee, there is a family”—inspires this cooperative’s gender, education, and health programs for members and their families. PRODECOOP is a second-level coffee association serving 2,300 small-scale farmers in Nicaragua’s north-central mountains. A Root Capital client since 2003, they have received more than $9.5 million in loans.

  • “A woman’s independence can only be achieved through economic autonomy and awareness,” says Fatima Ismael, general manager of SOPPEXCCA, a Fair Trade and organically certified coffee grower cooperative located in the jungles of Jinotega, Nicaragua. The coffee cooperative is known for its emphasis on gender inclusion and the empowerment of women farmers; 40 percent of its members are women.

  • Maraba, is a Fair Trade Certified coffee cooperative located in southern Rwanda. Initially established in 1999 with just 70 small-scale producers, Maraba, with Root Capital financing, now has more than 1,300 registered members. Almost 40 percent of Maraba’s members are women, the large majority of whom are widows from the Rwandan genocide.

  • Since 2006, Root Capital has provided Kilicafe, an association of more than 12,000 small-scale farmers in Tanzania, with financing that has allowed the cooperative to purchase depulping machines, washing stations, and other equipment. With these new machines, Kilicafe has increased coffee quality, created employment, decreased polluted water by 80 percent, and increased incomes by 50 percent.

  • Chirinos, a Root Capital client since 2004, is a coffee cooperative in northern Peru. A registered Fair Trade organization, Chirinos warehouses, processes, and markets certified-organic coffee to the U.S. and Europe. Until 1999, the cooperative sold its coffee to local buyers. Now, because of Fair Trade and organic market access, and access to capital, it exports to specialty coffee companies.

  • Gumutindo, which translates to “excellent coffee” in the local Lugisu language, is a second-level Ugandan coffee cooperative founded in 2003. Located on the slopes of Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda, it markets the coffee of six smaller primary cooperatives directly to Fair Trade and organic buyers in Europe and North America. With Root Capital financing, revenue has increased from $473 thousand to over $3 million, with payments to producers more than doubling.