Oikocredit invests in Latin American responsible specialty coffee trader Caravela

Oikocredit invests in Latin American responsible specialty coffee trader Caravela

22 May 2019

The Netherlands / United Kingdom – Social impact investor Oikocredit has closed a US$ 4.7 million investment in Caravela Coffee, a specialty coffee trader that sources coffee in Latin America using direct trade principles.

Oikocredit purchased shares from Annona Sustainable Investments.

Annona first invested in Caravela in 2011 and supported the company through a phase of rapid growth. Since 2011, Caravela has expanded from one export and import operation to seven export and three import operations today. In the same period, Caravela increased its green coffee sales volume from less than one thousand tons to almost five thousand tons per year, with sales growing at a CAGR of 25.6%.

In 2018, Caravela responsibly sourced coffee from almost 4,000 farmers in eight Latin American countries and sold to 275 specialty coffee roasters in 27 countries. Caravela paid nearly US$ 10 million in quality premiums to producers, representing on average an 88% premium over commodity market prices.

Caravela’s on-the-ground team and educational programmes help farmers produce high quality coffee. Forty per cent of Caravela’s 175 employees work full-time with farmers, either as agronomists or quality analysts.

Caravela plans to continue double-digit growth while continuing to empower and reward coffee producers for their quality coffee with prices well above their costs of production, which is even more critical today as market prices continue to decline to historic lows.

Alejandro Cadena, co-founder and CEO of Caravela commented: “I would like to thank Annona for their instrumental support over the last eight years which helped us reach new heights, and we are excited to welcome Oikocredit as an investor and shareholder in Caravela.  With Oikocredit we share the same vision of generating positive financial, social and environmental return in Latin America’s rural communities, and look forward to this new partnership as we continue to grow, staying true to our mission of generating positive impact for the entire coffee industry.”  

Giancarlo Ghiretti, co-founder and CFO of Caravela added: “Welcoming Oikocredit as a shareholder allows us to have a strong partner that can help us continue to innovate and grow with transparency and traceability for the whole coffee chain, while maintaining quality at the core of our offering.”

Sébastien Rigaud, responsible for Oikocredit’s investment, said: “We are proud of this new investment. We particularly appreciate how Caravela works closely with coffee farmers and their communities. Oikocredit has set clear social and financial objectives to support Caravela in diversifying sourcing origins, strengthening relationships with key buyers, and continuing to pay high premiums to a growing number of farmers.”

Tom Keleher, Equity Director for Oikocredit, added: “Our organisation is very pleased to add Caravela to a global portfolio of innovative and pioneering agricultural-related businesses that are both highly respected in their respective sectors and have social impact at the top of their agendas.”

Walter Hetterschijt, Managing Director for Annona Sustainable Investments, concluded: “Caravela has successfully shown that quasi-equity structured investments in disruptive ‘de-commoditized’ business models can have huge positive socio-economic outcomes for coffee producers and be very profitable at the same time. Thanks to all at Caravela for the inspiring eight years. We wish coffee producers, Caravela and Oikocredit a very fruitful long-term cooperation.” 

About Oikocredit

Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has over 40 years’ experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.

Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to sustainably improve their living standards.

Oikocredit finances 674 partners with total outstanding capital of over € 1 billion (at 31 March 2019).

For more information: www.oikocredit.coop  

About Annona

Annona Sustainable Investments is an Impact Investor. It has over 10 years’ experience in investing in SME’s in Africa and Latin America. Annona was setup in 2008 as a pilot fund for Foundation Dutch Railway Pension Fund, Foundation Companies’ Pension fund for Agriculture, Foundation Pension Fund for Public Transportation and the Royal Tropical Institute.

Annona’s holistic investment approach in disruptive “de-commoditized” business models in food and tourism using tailored instruments aim to combine positive socio-economic outcomes together with a reasonable financial return.

Annona finances over 15 companies with outstanding capital of € 17 million. Annona has been awarded the Best-for-The-World fund in 2016 and 2017 by B-Labs. In 2019 Annona became a B-Corp certified company.

For more information: www.annona.nl

About Caravela Coffee

Caravela is a Latin American green coffee exporter and importer that responsibly sources coffee from almost 4,000 coffee producers across eight countries in Latin America, the majority of which are smallholder farmers. Almost 90% of the Caravela team is based at origin, most of them agronomists or cuppers providing training, technical support and quality feedback to producers in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. Alongside its import offices in Europe, North America, and Australia, Caravela is dedicated to bridging the gap between specialty coffee roasters and smallholder coffee farmers, focused on quality, transparency and long-term sustainable relationships. Caravela has been a B-Corp certified company since 2014 and has been named by B-Labs a Best-for-the-World company the last four years.

Caravela is recognized as an industry leader by specialty coffee roasters for its high impact model and its uncompromising quality, transparency and traceability. 

Caravela was founded in 2000 by two Colombian entrepreneurs, Giancarlo Ghiretti and Alejandro Cadena. In 19 years, the company has built a strong and dedicated team of 175 employees from 15 different nationalities.

For more information: www.caravela.coffee

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Note for editors

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

  • Rebecca Watson, Communications Advisor, Oikocredit International, telephone: +31 33 422 4040, email: communication@oikocredit.org
  • Marisabel Vasquez, Marketing Coordinator, Caravela Coffee, +44 (0) 203 677 5551 ext. 113, email: marisabel.vasquez@caravela.coffee
  • Maurits de Koning, Impact Advisor, Annona Sustainable Investments, email: pr@annona.nl

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