As a farmer, you represent a coffee or cocoa smallholder farm household and you can be a member of a producer organisation.
1 PROGRESO PROJECTS
Progreso differs from other non-governmental organisations as we have a tailor-made approach. We consider the wishes and needs of producer organisations to achieve sustainable growth. Together with producer organisations, we analyse their current situation and we define what needs to be done. As a result, we start a project for further development of an organisation. In case needed, we also intervene in emergency situations and build a recovery plan with the producer organisation.
Progreso is a partner which supports long-term development. We choose to focus on sustainable business development, so that producer organisations can achieve a significant progress and professionalize themselves: we focus therefore on strong management and producer capacities, sustainable and professional market linkages, stable commercial relationships and responsible land use. We are active in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
We developed an integrated organizational assessment model (MIDCA) which we apply to producer organisations, to assess their capacity on specific levels. The outcome of the MIDCA provides insight in the producer organisations’ stronger and weaker points.
Producer organisations are assessed on:
- Production (membership base, product and services),
- Internal organisation (staff capacity, capital and finance, long term perspective),
- Market (sales and relationships),
- Sustainability (environmental and social),
- Resilience (soil and water, biodiversity and diversification, energy and climate).
The MIDCA can be applied in two different situations:
- As an assessment of the producer organisation at the start of a project and is conducted every year to understand the progress of the organisation.
- Upon request to identify the main challenges within a struggling producer organisation to make an emergency plan.
Progreso supports producer organisations with tailor-made projects.
There are several conditions for starting a project with Progreso:
- We work with producer organisations, cooperatives or associations. We do not work with individual farmers.
- The producer organisation focuses on coffee and/or cocoa as a main product.
- The producer organisation is owned by smallholder producers and is willing to work according to fair and sustainable trade principles.
- The producer organisation has the intention to grow in terms of volume and revenue, to diversify their markets, improving the quality of their produce, to create added value for their members and to become an economically sustainable business.
Within the projects, Progreso works together with producer organisations on five components:
- Access to finance: to enhance financial management and secure credit readiness.
- Capacity building: to strengthen the agronomic knowledge within the organisation, the internal management skills and to guide the professionalization of the internal administration.
- Access to markets: to ensure access to the best fitting buyer, depending on quality differentiation. We search for collaboration with reliable off-takers who are willing to add more value for the farmer.
- Diversification: to develop sustainable businesses with multiple income sources.
- Sustainability: to increase the resilience of the producer organisation to environmental impact and climate change.
The specific focus of the project can be on one or more components depending on the needs of the producer organisation. We make sure to think along with producer organisations and to involve all partners of the supply chain in order to respond to new market developments, stakeholders’ interests and environmental changes.
If you think your producer organisation can comply with the above conditions and could benefit from support on the components mentioned, please contact us and provide us with the following information:
- describe your producer organisation,
- identify what your main challenges are,
- highlight your specific needs for assistance.
2 PROCLIMATE PROJECTS
In our work with coffee and cocoa producer organisations, we observed how agricultural production systems are increasingly strained by changing weather patterns. Furthermore, deforestation is a major problem in many coffee and cocoa production areas. Climate change and deforestation is causing land degradation, biodiversity loss and a decrease in agricultural productivity. A transition to landscape restoration and climate resilient agricultural production systems is needed to secure livelihoods and long-term yields of smallholder farmers.
In order to support coffee and cocoa producer organizations in realizing this, Progreso initiated the ProClimate program in 2008.
ProClimate believes that the solution to the challenges we have identified is a shared responsibility and can only be solved through partnerships with multiple value chain actors. ProClimate’s overall goal is to generate a joint collaboration between producer organisations, financiers and businesses to work together in creating productive landscapes and minimize negative impact on (native) forests, soils, water sources and biodiversity. By doing so, ProClimate aims to contribute to a future proof coffee and cocoa sector that benefits all stakeholders in the supply chain.
PROCLIMATE’S FOUR COMPONENTS
The innovative and distinctive part of ProClimate can be captured in four core elements:
- Development of site specific landscape restoration projects directly with the producers and producer groups.
- Strong industry engagement and marketing, because we believe that producer organisations that embrace sustainable coffee and cocoa production can only be successful when linked to buyers with a similar mindset.
- Creating evidence of successful restoration approaches by transparent monitoring systems and impact measurements.
- The facilitation of finance from businesses which are willing to invest in land restoration and the upscaling of successful restoration projects.
In each project we focus on the development and the creation of resilient farming systems which deliver social, economic and environmental benefits on the long run. We often work with producer organisations whose members live in, or very close to, natural areas that are facing a threat of deforestation, degradation and biodiversity loss due to unsustainable farming practices. As the starting point of each project, we assess the main causes of ecosystem degradation and crop failures as well as the main opportunities to mitigate these. We do this together with our local partners and coffee/cocoa producers/organisations.
The mix of interventions depend on each individual situation. Our job is to build a compelling business case for stakeholders. This can be related to for example arranging a social loan, (upfront) payments for environmental footprint reduction, donor financing or co-investments in sustainability measures. Where possible and desirable, carbon-finance or other types of ‘payment for ecosystem services` are part of the financial structure of the projects. Certifications are included in the projects to promote transparency in the supply chain and to create added value.
ProClimate wants to be a source of learning and inspiration for producer organisations and sectors to choose a similar development path. Measuring impact of our activities on actors and on ecosystems is therefore an important part of ProClimate projects. We work closely with knowledge institutes and the public sector.
3 IMPACT EVALUATION
We evaluate the impact of our work on the following levels:
- Organizational impact: we use the MIDCA as a powerful tool to monitor organizational progress .
- Impact on Farmhousehold: we follow the impact on the smallholder farm households’ livelihood status on social, economic and environmental aspects by executing ´´living income´´ studies.
- Project Impact: we assess the actual impact of the defined activities within the set time-frame and budget of the project.
We also train producer organisations to monitor, evaluate, learn and adapt their approaches for more impact and more effective business development!