Federacion Campesina Del Cauca, COLOMBIA
Partner Vision: To support small-holder coffee farmers in environmentally and financially sustainable agriculture.
Partner Background: The Federación Campesina del Cauca (Cauca’s Peasant Federation), or FCC, is a cooperative of coffee growers encompassing six growers associations from different regions of the Cauca area. The FCC has at least 700 active members and during its 40 years of history has faced different challenges such as land property rights claims and the identification of profitable markets for its products. Today, the FCC is focusing primarily on specialty coffee markets, preserving its identity as a small-holder grower organization. Over the years it has achieved financial independence due to its organizational vision, which promotes autonomy and assertion of the peasants’ role in the society. Ninety percent of its coffee is exported to the United States.
SMART Impact: Three teams of SMART programs have engaged with the FCC over the last three years, assisting with organizational and technical aspects of coffee growing and selling. In the past, the SMART teams have conducted organizational analysis of local coffee cooperatives to better align key management positions and board of trustees on common goals. They have also analyzed sociodemographic and production indicators, and participated in training workshops with the young people of the organization. In 2017, the team developed a soil analysis ‘kit’ that can measure soil health and its correlation to adapting organic farming, and analysed trade-offs between organic and conventional ways of growing coffee – helping the FCC expand the number of organic farms.
Read the Colombia team’s blog here: https://smartcolombia2017.wordpress.com/
Nandi Farms, KENYA
Partner Vision: To create value addition- oriented businesses in farmer communities.
Partner Background: The group includes rural farmer start-up businesses run by the Chema-Kigosor Self Help Group and Kapkerer Farmers Group. These two groups of entrepreneurial farmers are trying to create value addition- oriented businesses in their communities. The farmers are members of larger groups of farmers that now grow a diversity of new legumes as a result of their interaction with the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization’s (KALRO) Multipurpose Legume project.
SMART Impact: The SMART team provided training to farmers in order to assist them with promoting a nutritious porridge mix, helping farmers with key marketing and food science concerns. The group took a dialogue education approach to help group members internalize key concepts around the 5 P’s of marketing (Partnering, Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Read the Kenya team’s blog here: https://smartkenya2017.wordpress.com/
Partner Vision: To be a leading producer of high quality essential oils and other natural plant products that maximizes profits to small farmers, holistically transforms communities and strengthens agri-business in Rwanda.
Partner Background: Ikirezi was founded in September, 2005 with the vision of addressing poverty in rural Rwanda. Dr. Hitimana is the Managing Director of Ikirezi and emphasizes that his dream is “to pay a salary to farmers that raises them above the poverty line.” Building on his educational background, a PhD in Applied Entomology (Plant-Insect Interaction) from the University of Edinburgh in UK, Dr. Hitimana supports an approach to business that links economic growth with corporate social responsibility. Ikirezi’s corporate values include: dignity, community impact, sustainability, collaboration and ubuntu (humility, compassion, grace).
SMART Impact: The SMART team explored and quantified the domestic market for essential oils. By doing so they developed a marketing strategy for the company and drafted a communication strategy thus helping the company address how it can better market its products locally with a vision of new regional and global growth.
Espinaca Innovations, SOUTH AFRICA
Partner Vision: To provide people from low income communities access to healthy food choices, and spread awareness of the harmfulness of poor dietary choices.
Partner Background: Lufefe Nomjana, a young man from Khayelitsha, a Cape Town township, was concerned about the fact that people around him in the lowincome communities of Cape Town did not have easy access to healthy food choices, and, even more importantly, that many people were unaware of how harmful poor dietary choices could be. Turning his concern into a business idea, in 2013 Lufefe began baking bread using spinach as one of the main ingredients. Lufefe has begun to establish business contacts with South African retail giants like Spar, Pick’n Pay and Virgin Active. Securing contracts form such businesses would put Espinaca Innovations in a secure position to slowly spread into other communities.
SMART Impact: The SMART team analysed the marketing and production hurdles for Espinaca Innovations by benchmarking competitors, developing a marketing strategy, and evaluating growth strategies. The team will also launch a fundraising campaign.
Canettevallei, SOUTH AFRICA
Partner Vision: To increase local employment through expanding the operations of a lavender farm.
Partner Background: Canettevallei is a wine and lavender farm that lies tucked away in Stellenboschkloof, a quiet valley situated about 10 km outside Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. After travels to France and specifically Provence, in 2005 Ingrid de Waal and her husband decided to plant lavender in front of their home on the farm. This decision eventually led to a pioneering business when they expanded the land under lavender cultivation to three hectares, producing the hybrid ”lavandin abrialis” variety. Today Canettevallei Lavender uses organic practices to develop unique, farm fresh lavender products for cosmetics, gifts, and weddings. Their main products are lavender essential oil and lavender rice, the sweet-smelling dried flowers of the lavender plant.
SMART Impact: The SMART team assisted Canettevallei in benchmarking competitors, developing a marketing strategy, and evaluating growth strategies in order to expand the operations.
Foundation for the Mid-South, USA
Partner Vision: To invest in people and strategies that build philanthropy and promote racial, social, and economic equity in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Partner Background: The Foundation for the Mid-South partners and invests in efforts that enable communities—leadership, residents, and institutions—to increase their knowledge and skills to create solutions that effectively address their unique needs and challenges. The Foundation has four priority areas: education, Health & Wellness, Wealth Building and Community Development.
SMART Impact: The team developed a regional enterprise development strategy that seeks to strengthen the capacity of small-to-medium businesses by supporting the existing networks/resource systems that support entrepreneurship in the region.