Others might help cooperative businesses diversify their production or work with an agricultural processor to solve an operational bottleneck. Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers also work in cooperative development, ensuring greater participation of women and youth, business planning and financial management, and many other areas.
NCBA CLUSA’s new F2F program will operate in Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras and Peru. The program will serve the following subsectors:
- Climate-smart production
- Producer organization/co-op strengthening and marketing
How does Farmer-to-Farmer work?
NCBA CLUSA’s F2F Program is demand-driven. We identify host organizations, co-develop technical assistance plans with the hosts, and recruit skilled volunteers from across the United States to provide technical assistance. We coordinate logistics, offer translation services when needed, and cover volunteer travel costs. Volunteer assistance from US farmers, businesses, cooperatives, and universities helps smallholder farmers in developing countries improve productivity, access new markets, and conserve natural resources and the environment.
Learn more about our volunteer opportunities.
In Honduras, a coffee co-OP strengthens their company outreach with the help of Farmer-to-Farmer
Edgar Aguilar, a young coffee producer from Marcala, Honduras, faced a significant career challenge. The leaf rust disease had devastated his coffee crops, leading to unemployment in his municipality. However, along with other young coffee producers, Edgar established Pacayal Coffee in 2014, which continually works to improve their product quality, the quality of life of their producing families, and their quality service.
Despite its efforts and quality coffee, Pacayal Coffee faced financial constraints and supply problems, which hindered its growth. In 2022, Edgar, the general manager of the organization, and his team received training from a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded program Farmer-to-Farmer assignment with The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) to develop a marketing plan.
They updated their website and social media and implemented marketing strategies, such as having direct and effective communication with their clients to evaluate their customer service and areas to improve for local commercialization sales.
They could even separate their financial records after a workshop and training session. Christian Guzman, member and technical assistant manager of Pacayal, shared that what prompted him to participate was his “desire to learn and be able to understand what a marketing process is. Knowing the financial opportunities that can be had from an investor, as well as knowing how to balance the distribution of investments (external and banks).” The training immediately impacted Pacayal Coffee’s sales, doubling their average sales in one year from 17,647 pounds to 35,294 pounds, resulting in an additional $8,090 in sales. The training also helped them decrease their financial costs, saving them $40,000, which they used for more financial capacity for liquidations and investments.
Moreover, the volunteer connected Pacayal Coffee with a potential coffee client from Nashville called “Bridging Tables.” The CEO visited their facilities in February 2023 to establish a long-term business relationship, strengthening Pacayal Coffee’s client outreach.
Thanks to the assignment, Pacayal Coffee attracted new clients and financing, which helped them overcome their financial constraints. They developed their first business organigram and are undergoing a restructuring of all the roles and functions of their employees, marking a 180° turnaround in operations.
Today, Pacayal Coffee is a leading enterprise that promotes commercialization between producers and buyers, empowers women, improves children’s wellness, and protects the environment. Edgar and his team continue seeking valuable resources and knowledge to further their growth and development, inspiring other coffee producers to follow suit as his slogan states, “Quality Does Not Suffer Crisis.”
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