While the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program’s primary goal is to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector, its secondary goal is to increase the U.S. public’s understanding of international development issues and programs and international understanding of the U.S. and U.S. development programs. To do so, F2F believes the program’s volunteers must reflect the diversity of the American people. Therefore, the F2F program actively encourages and seeks out diverse individuals to contribute their knowledge and skills on our assignments.
This Black History Month, as the U.S. celebrates the achievements of the Black community and their central role in U.S. history, the F2F Program is shining a light on the Black men and women who volunteer their time to the F2F program and who simultaneously strengthen the diversity the program aims to achieve.
Below is a success story written by NCBA CLUSA USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer Recruiter, Sequoia Ireland.
Hervé R. Thomas is no stranger to international development with over 15 years of experience as a public and international affairs professional. This polyglot has traversed lands all around the globe in service of humanity; advising NGOs, companies, and intergovernmental agencies. His determination, expertise and benevolence continue to contribute towards a diverse USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program. Hervé’s in-depth knowledge of strategic planning, program management, leadership, and strategic resource mobilization, as well as his compassion, make him a highly sought-after candidate for Farmer-to-Farmer assignments. In honor of Black History Month, NCBA CLUSA is proud to honor Hervé’s acts of service through the Strategic Planning assignment with Asociación Nacional de Exportadores de Café del Ecuador (ANECAFE) in Ecuador.
ANECAFE was founded in May 1983 and is the oldest coffee trade union in Ecuador. It strives to be at the forefront of Ecuador’s coffee exporting sector, supporting the improvement of existing coffee production and achieving national and international recognition. In order to meet these goals, its members recognized that they needed guidance in developing a strategic plan using the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis framework. Hervé worked remotely with ANECAFE from November to December 2020 to advise them on creating a strategic plan best suited for their operations. During these unprecedented times of COVID-19, his flexibility and willingness to complete the assignment virtually were truly appreciated.
Throughout the assignment, Hervé made sure that ANECAFE prioritized the strategic planning aspect of the assignment, focusing on values mapping, vision and mission statement development, and strategic goal setting and operationalization. He also ensured that its members had rich technical discussions around potential policy advocacy measures, business strategies, organizational development and generational replacement. All of these activities aligned with his goals of “Delivering on the objectives and assuring that they learned something.” Hervé stated, “Going into this I wanted to make sure that they had ownership and were able to take control of the process.” By the end of the assignment, ANECAFE members were equipped with the knowledge to present their strategic plan to their Board of Directors and key stakeholders. Their enthusiasm for learning about this topic will surely contribute to ANECAFE’s sustainability.
See success stories from other Farmer-to-Farmer implementors here.