Heifer Impact Capital capitalizes in the expansion of Pachamama Coffee Cooperative's U.S. Operations
November 10 - 2022
Coffee Geography Magazine
Heifer Impact Capital (HIC) has recently closed a loan to Pachamama Coffee Cooperative (PCC) to support a significant expansion of its U.S. retail footprint, through which the cooperatives' smallholder coffee growers in Latin America and Africa to market their products. Founded in 2006, Pachamama Coffee is a cooperative based in Sacramento, California. The business is collectively owned by five coffee cooperatives in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and Ethiopia, with total membership of more than 37,000 smallholder farmers. Pachamama's mission is to sell coffee in the most direct way possible and in doing so, improve the lives of coffee farmers and their families.
With this investment, Heifer reaffirms and extends its direct support to an inclusive social enterprise model in coffee, cocoa, spices, and other key agricultural value chains in vulnerable communities around the world, developing a shared vision centered on strengthening value chains that support people from production to consumption, or "seed to cup."
This investment, focused on Pachamama's retail expansion and the consolidation of its current and planned digital and specialized sales channels, represents the first of several joint initiatives with Heifer, which include reciprocal knowledge and experience transfer between Heifer and Pachamama between their respective teams in countries where both organizations are present. Heifer currently has active coffee projects in Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
"With strong alignment of values, dedication to purpose, and the shared knowledge and experience of both organizations, we are excited about future opportunities to further extend this collaborative relationship, leveraging our strengths to help more farmers make a sustainable living income," said Jorge Barrigh, Regional Director of Heifer Impact Capital.
"This is a smart investment in an innovative business model that's owned by small-scale coffee farmers around the world," said Thaleon Tremain, Pachamama's co-founder and CEO. "Heifer's investment directly impacts thousands of family farmers who are building a better future for themselves with their own business in North America."
Together, the partners' goal is to build a market dedicated to sustainable, quality coffee. Pachamama's ethos highlights that sustainable coffee requires a solid foundation built on linked economic, social, and environmental objectives. Pachamama shares Heifer's belief that that a supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In the pursuit of seed to cup sustainable coffee, the cooperative strives at every stage to directly benefit smallholder farmer owners.
Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 39 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.
And Heifer Impact Capital is a global impact investor focused on pro-poor wealth creation for small holder farmers. Working through local and regional financial intermediaries and other partners, this work leverages Heifer International's grant funding, along with other investors' funds, to generate positive impact and financial returns, while improving access to finance and providing affordable investment capital to farmers and cooperatives supported by Heifer International.
Pachamama Coffee is a California-based roaster and retailer of specialty coffee wholly owned by thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa and Latin America. This cooperative was founded in 2006 by five farmer groups in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Ethiopia, to sell their best coffee through a vertically integrated (seed to cup) business model. Pachamama roasts its members' coffee in Sacramento and distributes directly to consumers (DTC), wholesale retailers, and via its five café locations.