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  • Writer's pictureJon Ferguson

What is ElevaFinca?

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

We are dedicating the content of this article to answer frequently asked questions to offer a better understanding of ElevaFinca and the services it provides.


What is ElevaFinca?

ElevaFinca represents commodities produced from an alliance of cooperatives participating in agroforestry projects launched and financed by Urapi Sustainable Land Use Fund (a private equity fund). ElevaFinca acts as a facilitator at origin for buyers, providing tailored solutions to meet their product inventory and environmental and social impact objectives. ElevaFinca is positioned in direct contact with the alliance of cooperatives to provide buyers a wide range of offerings and reliable procurement services.

What is ElevaFinca’s mission?

ElevaFinca seeks to drive interest in sustainable land use management, foster good social governance, and provide greater benefits to all members throughout the coffee value chain. The goal is to achieve alignment of interests within these projects and guarantee economic sustainability for participating cooperatives.

What are some of the services ElevaFinca provides?

ElevaFinca provides services connecting importers and roasters directly with cooperatives. In addition to supporting market access, ElevaFinca provides an additional level of quality control, along with logistical support to ensure all delivery and quality terms on each contract are accurately met. ElevaFinca’s projects provide on-the-ground technical assistance to members of each cooperative.

What activities are carried out with the alliance of cooperatives?

  • Microcredits are provided to help establish agroforestry systems.

  • Agricultural technical visits are conducted to help improve yield and quality.

  • Facilitation and establishment of jointly owned processing infrastructures like dry mills.

  • Q-grade services ensure accurate cup quality for all coffee contracts.

  • Group buying of inputs, samples, freight, and processing fees to achieve economies of scale

  • The sales team connects importers and roasters with cooperatives.

What is the typical size of a cooperative within the alliance?

The alliance works mainly with smallholder producers from medium-sized cooperatives averaging between 150 to 600 producers. These cooperatives have demonstrated strong managerial organization and longevity in the marketplace. With medium-sized cooperatives, agroforestry projects tend to be more efficient and successful with the ability to reach all producers. Working directly with producers results in more loyalty from producers within each organization. In addition, the cooperatives we work with are FairTrade and organic certified.

What are the benefits of forming an alliance of coffee cooperatives like ElevaFinca?

When cooperatives work together, the potential benefits are amplified. By creating alliances, cooperatives can:

  • Increase their access to markets by strengthening their exportable supply.

  • Improve their access to capital.

  • Increase the economy of scale, cost efficiencies with in-house suppliers.

  • Co-invest in joint assets and infrastructure.

  • Exchange of knowledge and experiences between different regions of Peru and other countries.

Why do cooperatives require more of a competitive edge in the coffee market?

Smaller cooperatives do not have access to competitive interest rates or harvest capital that other players in the market are often able to secure. When acting alone, they do not have financial tools in terms of interest rates or price hedging.

Wouldn’t cooperatives save more time and money by selling directly to green coffee buyers, rather than selling through the alliance with ElevaFinca?

Not necessarily. Even if a buyer were to contract directly with a cooperative, its managers often subcontract services to local agencies to handle the logistics of fulfilling contract obligations. The reality is that many cooperatives do not have a team to handle these tasks.

Brokers are generally more expensive than ElevaFinca and do not provide after-sales services. Unlike ElevaFinca, independent brokers are usually not structured to return a portion of their funds back to agroforestry and capacity-building projects.

When cooperatives sign contracts through ElevaFinca, how is their cooperative’s equity increased?

A percentage of the commission paid for each contract is reinvested in the improvement of the cooperative's supply chain. This is done through investing the brokerage fees back to the URAPI Fund. Instead of a brokerage commission paid to an independent third party as mentioned above, the ElevaFinca commission is paid to the URAPI Sustainable Land Use Private Equity Fund, allowing the investor to continue to fund projects such as Café Selva Norte (Peru) and RioSierra (Colombia), and beyond.

Contracts conducted through ElevaFinca are eligible to receive the additional services that help ensure timely shipment and provide competitive interest rates, including:

  • Independent quality control.

  • Export trade documents.

  • Negotiation with suppliers and clients.

  • Representation at trade shows and conventions.

  • Marketing support in the US/CAN/EURO markets.

What are some additional benefits ElevaFinca offers that may be overlooked?

Occasionally, cooperatives find they are incapable of fulfilling contracts written earlier in the harvest season. In such a case, ElevaFinca is able to substitute one contract with another contract from the alliance of cooperatives, drastically reducing the risk for buyers.

Sales through ElevaFinca help strengthen an alignment of interest between buyers, cooperatives, and small producers. This strategy promotes sustainable land use management and encourages the expansion of agroforestry zones to combat land use degradation. The URAPI Sustainable Land Use fund are providing these essential ElevaFinca services to cooperatives at a time when investments are most needed.

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