Sol Organica was founded in 2007 by Will Burke with the aim to improve the livelihoods of tropical fruit farmers, particularly the pitaya (or dragon fruit) farmers. The company has come a long way since and is now a certified B-Corporation working closely with over 800 smallholder farmers to improve agricultural practices and secure organic and fair-trade certifications. Sol Organica offers fixed contracts that guarantee the purchase of crops at prevailing market prices.
The loan from Hivos-Triodos Fund allows Sol Organica to pay smallholder farmers fairly and immediately upon delivery of their produce.
Principal Investment Manager Joke van der Ven: “Sol Organica is set to enter a new stage of growth and wants to bring a new working capital financer that is aligned with the strong mission of the company to that seeks to maximise the farmers agricultural potential and promoting the use of sustainable and organic farming practices. We are very happy to be that new financer.”
Sol Organica’s dedication to the well-being of the smallholder farmer is reflected by the remarkable effort of setting up a bank account for each farmer, so that no one needs to carry cash in and out of the field. 90% of the farmers now have a bank account with a debit card and an increased access to financial services. The farmers also receive a bonus the end of the season, another important incentive to deliver their produce to Sol Organica. The average farmer income per hectare grew from USD 1,372 in 2015 to USD 2,408 in 2019, a vital increase as the average farmland is only one hectare.
Explore how Hivos-Triodos Fund contributes to the development of inclusive, sustainable food value chains to ensure that small-scale farmers also benefit.