The ImpactAssets Global Sustainable Agriculture Note opens doors to retail investors interested in addressing bottom of the pyramid poverty and sustainable agriculture, while realizing targeted financial returns.
Press Release – Bethesda, MD, July 6, 2016 – ImpactAssets announced today that it has deployed more than $3.5MM in support of smallholder farmers in Honduras, Costa Rica, Chile and Peru through their recently launched Global Sustainable Agriculture Note. This lower-minimum publicly offered debt security broadens investor access to grower cooperatives and agricultural enterprises.
“Accessible, high-impact products like the Global Sustainable Agriculture Note opens doors for investors interested in building sustainable farming communities and creating equanimity in food value chains globally,” said Ron Cordes, Board Member and Chairman, Executive Committee, ImpactAssets and Co-Founder, Cordes Foundation.
Seven separate portfolio transactions include smallholder coffee cooperatives that are producing and certifying high-quality coffee. Providing affordable credit helps bring farmers into the value chain, improve the quality of commodities they sell and improve the sustainability of their farming techniques.
“By investing in loans to smallholder farmers, we’re helping cooperatives manage risk and strengthen their businesses. Assuming full capital deployment, we will reach more than 20,000 smallholder farmers in this first round of capital deployment,” said Fran Seegull, Chief Investment Officer, ImpactAssets.
Partners in Farming
Cooperativa Cafetalera Ecológica ‘La Labor Ocotepeque Limitada’ Ltd (COCAFELOL) is a Honduran fair trade cooperative that sources coffee from more than 300 smallholder farmers. COCAFELOL’s objective is to create a market where all producers “have access to fair markets” and are able to achieve self-sustainability in global markets. COCAFELOL provides processing services, financing, roasting, trading, training and technical assistance to their members and more than 250 farmers in the region. Most senior management are women who have risen up the ranks. In line with its strategic focus on agriculture and the environment, ImpactAssets chose to provide this coffee cooperative with fresh working capital to buy more organic beans from members and other coffee farmers. The loan will benefit COCAFELOL’s members, 30% of whom are women, and more than 300 other coffee producers who supply COCAFELOL.
ImpactAssets is a strong supporter of COCAFELOL’s organic ambitions and initiatives, such as its fertilization program, which produces excellent organic inputs that control coffee leaf rust and result in healthy coffee plantations.
There are more than 450 million smallholder farmers in the world today representing 70% of the world’s poor. Although demand for smallholder commodities, such as coffee and quinoa, is growing, smallholders are trapped in a state of subsistence as they have little access to market linkages and credit.
While the need for smallholder investment is estimated to be $450B, the investable market has been estimated at $22B as per Dalberg Global Development Advisors. This figure is based on the 10% of smallholder farmers who are part of structured organization such as cooperatives. ImpactAssets maintains an emphasis on lending to financially sustainable agriculture cooperatives. “We are very proud to help the farming poor around the world reach their potential,” said Tim Freundlich, President, ImpactAssets. “The Impact Investment Notes are a great example of how broadening access to capital can be used together to further scale direct impact investing.”
Additional information about the Notes is included in the Offering Circular and its Supplements, as well as Notes Fact Sheets, which may be obtained by calling 855.649.5980 or emailing Notes@impactassets.org.
ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments that deliver financial, social, and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (The Giving Fund), impact investment notes, and field building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners, and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment.