Linking Smallholder Farmers to High-value Markets in El Salvador
Acceso El Salvador, a social business built by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership that bridges the gap between smallholder farmers and buyers, joins Business Call to Action
San Salvador, 16 June 2017 –Acceso El Salvador (Acceso), a social business that improves the livelihoods of farmers in El Salvador, has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA), an alliance that challenges companies around the world to empower those with less than US$8 per day in purchasing power. As part of joining BctA, Acceso has committed to continue providing smallholder farmers in El Salvador with sustainable access to high-value markets along with training, inputs and technology. Acceso is working to further BCtA’s goals, empowering farmers, fishers, and other workers to improve their incomes and purchasing power.
“Our business model is simple: we tap into the significant opportunities for drawing small producers into El Salvador’s food value chains,” explains Andres Baiza, general manager of Acceso. “The model allows us to improve the livelihoods of small farmers and enables local retailers and restaurants to locally source high-quality produce. To us, that’s good business, and we are proud to be recognized by BCtA.”
More than 90 percent of El Salvador’s food producers are subsistence farmers. For these farmers, inefficient farming techniques, poor-quality inputs and a lack of access to market data and financing lead to low yields of variable quality. But with little connection to lucrative markets, they are unable to invest in improving production. Acceso has stepped in to fill this gap, building a strong inclusive value chain that benefits from economies of scale, logistics efficiencies and optimized quality management tailored to buyers’ needs.
According to Paula Pelaez, BCtA Programme Manager, “Acceso El Salvador is providing smallholder food producers with unprecedented access to high-value markets. Its innovative services are breathing new life into the country’s agriculture and fisheries sectors while enabling consumers to access quality local produce – simultaneously benefitting El Salvador’s economy, environment and public health.”
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$8 per day in purchasing power as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Acceso, established by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership in 2013, has worked with 1,200 smallholder farmers and their workers to date and employs 100 local Salvadorian employees. By 2020, the company is projected to reach 1,400 smallholder farmers and their workers, along with 486 fishers who will all benefit from improved productivity, guaranteed access to markets and increased incomes.
Central to Acceso’s inclusive model is the belief that building farmers’ technical capacity and social capital drives commercial success. The company provides training, seeds, fertilizers and financing to improve farmers’ yields and quality. It then purchases their crops at competitive prices, aggregates them, performs quality control and processes them at local collection centers. Finally, it sells and delivers the crops to large buyers. Acceso reached profitability in July 2015, two years ahead of its original plan, showing that it is possible to achieve social impact in a commercially sustainable way. In 2016, Acceso expanded into fish and seafood, working directly with artisanal fishers and fish farmers.
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BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Acceso El Salvador: Established in 2013, Acceso Oferta Local – Productos de El Salvador, a farmer services and aggregation social business built and managed by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, provides sustainable, market-driven solutions for smallholder farmers and fishers to increase their incomes, while boosting local economies. Replicating an innovative farmer services and aggregation model first built by CGEP in Colombia in 2013, Acceso currently supplies fruits, vegetables, and fish to local buyers including Super Selectos, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and Subway. For more information about Acceso’s innovative initiative, visit its web site here.