10 years' experience in trimmed and washed peas & beans from Guatemalan smallholders for high-end markets
Guatemala works with approximately 650 farmers that are organized in farmer organizations (cooperatives and associations). The pack house is located in Antigua Guatemala but the farmers, mainly indigenous smallholders, are scattered in the Central and Western Highlands. The company provides technical assistance and training to these farmers, and pre-finances agricultural inputs such as seed, fertilizers and pesticides. In its packing plant the company employs up to 350 workers, mainly women. Vegetables are graded, trimmed, washed and packed for export.
Continued support to smallholder farmers through NGO ADISAGUA
FairFruit Guatemala is increasing efforts to train and certify farmers through ADISAGUA, which offers a wide range of services in management support and institutional reinforcement. Collaboration various donors organizations has provided funding for the construction of a new processing facility with cold storage near the production zones in order to improve raw material quality and efficiency (and therefore increase income for farmers) and generate local employment.
In 2016, ADISAGUA started to execute 2 new projects:
- “Every bean has its black” with the objective to improve sustainability throughout the supply chain of FF Guatemala (cofunded by the Ministery of foreign affairs of the Netherlands en in collaboration with the Ngo Woord en Daad)
- AGRIJOVEN (cofunded by USAID) which promotes sustainable production of vegetables with young farmers as an alternative for migration
Strategic partnerships in the US
Our main US client became a strategic partner in boosting our sales the US – a natural market for Guatemala. Revenue from US sales increased significantly due to higher sales volumes. A better understanding of our client needs, improved the service and was rewarded with better prices.
During 2016 several new products were successfully introduced in the product portfolio of FF Guatemala: zucchinis, carrots, butternut squash as well as ready-to-cook mixes of these products with beans and snaps. The introduction of these products not only have strengthen the relationship between FF Guatemala and its clients, but also offer new opportunities for farmers.
Increase sales in USA
The demand from the US is increasing due to sales opportunities for our US partner. This requires higher volumes of existing products and the launch of new products. The company faces the challenge to match client expectations with its plant and field capacity. Striving for efficiency and operational excellence is a key factor for present and future success.
Small-scale trials of organic production of peas and beans have shown promising results. Several clients have shown interest in buying organic produced fresh vegetables as consumer awareness on health and environmental issues is raising. During 2017 more trials will be performed and a roll-out of a commercial program is under preparation.