CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and BURLINGTON, Mass. and PLANO, Texas, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Root Capital today announced the launch of the Partnership for Sustainable Supply Chains (the Partnership) in collaboration with Keurig Dr Pepper, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ezrah Charitable Trust. COVID-19 has exacerbated the complex challenges faced by farmers of agricultural crops relied on by the food and beverage industries. The Partnership will provide financial support and advisory services to agricultural businesses, including coffee, representing 150,000 farmers in 12 countries across Africa, Latin America and Indonesia, helping them to withstand the current pandemic, and building their resiliency for years to come.
"With the onset of COVID-19, the ability of small and growing businesses in the agriculture sector to provide critical employment, continued income generation, protection of vulnerable ecosystems and essential services to rural communities has never been more vital," said Willy Foote, Founder and CEO of Root Capital. "From Peru to the Democratic Republic of Congo, these enterprises are under enormous strain. Yet, with support, they have met the challenge head-on—not only maintaining their business operations, but also protecting both the lives and livelihoods of their farmers and employees."
Over the next three years, the Partnership will focus on helping smallholder farm businesses withstand the immediate COVID-19 crisis, recover in the medium-term and re-imagine their strategies for growth and success in the long-term "new normal." Together, the Partnership will expand upon existing COVID-19 response efforts to strengthen smallholder farmer resilience through:
- tailored advisory services that respond to the most urgent challenges of smallholder farm businesses, adapted to this era of remote service delivery
- small grants to address cash flow constraints and meet the emergency needs of rural communities, and
- flexible credit via patient loan terms, interest rate relief and debt forgiveness for enterprises most at risk.
The Partnership for Sustainable Supply Chains will be complemented by a $35 million loan guarantee from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). This improves Root Capital's lending capacity by mitigating the perceived risk associated with lending to these agricultural businesses.
"By leveraging our longstanding partnership with Root Capital, we were able to quickly pivot to support those in our supply chain most vulnerable to the threats of COVID-19 and ongoing challenges such as climate change and food insecurity," said Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer for Keurig Dr Pepper. "Our contribution to the Partnership for Sustainable Supply Chains is an extension of our deep-rooted commitment to partnering with our coffee growing communities to improve livelihoods and safeguard the future of coffee and will help to support business continuity and resiliency for our coffee suppliers in countries across Latin America, Africa and Indonesia."
The Partnership for Sustainable Supply Chains builds on the progress and lessons learned from the Partnership for Sustainable Coffee, a three-year collaboration in which Keurig Dr Pepper, Root Capital and USAID reached 183 farmer businesses through Root Capital's lending and advisory services, supporting sustainable livelihoods for 330,000 smallholder coffee farmers and their families. These projects have contributed to Keurig Dr Pepper's achievement of its goal to engage one million people in the company's supply chain to significantly improve their lives by the end of 2020.
About Root Capital
Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises so they can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes, create jobs, empower women and young people, sustain peace, and preserve vulnerable ecosystems. We supply these businesses with vital resources: access to capital, trade and technical partners, financial training and conservation practices. We work in hard-to-serve geographies where others don't. To date, we've distributed $1.5 billion to improve the lives of nine million people in farming communities.
About Keurig Dr Pepper
Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) is a leading beverage company in North America, with annual revenue in excess of $11 billion and nearly 26,000 employees. KDP holds leadership positions in soft drinks, specialty coffee and tea, water, juice and juice drinks and mixers, and markets the #1 single serve coffee brewing system in the U.S. and Canada. The Company's portfolio of more than 125 owned, licensed and partner brands is designed to satisfy virtually any consumer need, any time, and includes Keurig®, Dr Pepper®, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters®, Canada Dry®, Snapple®, Bai®, Mott's®, CORE® and The Original Donut Shop®. Through its powerful sales and distribution network, KDP can deliver its portfolio of hot and cold beverages to nearly every point of purchase for consumers. The Company is committed to sourcing, producing and distributing its beverages responsibly through its Drink Well. Do Good. corporate responsibility platform, including efforts around circular packaging, efficient natural resource use and supply chain sustainability. For more information, visit, www.keurigdrpepper.com.
About Ezrah Charitable Trust
Ezrah Charitable Trust is a North Carolina based, Africa-focused private foundation that is privileged to fund high quality implementing organizations, such as Root Capital, and to support their passionate, intelligent, creative, nimble, and humble service to and partnership with the world's most disadvantaged people, in order to deliver real solutions to real problems at scale.
SOURCE Keurig Dr Pepper