Oikocredit invests US$4.7 million in Caravela Coffee

Social impact investor Oikocredit has closed a US$4.7 million investment in Caravela Coffee, a specialty coffee trader that sources coffee in Latin America using direct trade principles. “We are proud of this new investment. We particularly appreciate how Caravela works closely with coffee farmers and their communities,” Oikocredit’s Sébastien Rigaud says. “Oikocredit has set clear social and financial objectives to support Caravela in diversifying sourcing origins, strengthening relationships with key buyers, and continuing to pay high premiums to a growing number of farmers.” Oikocredit purchased shares from Annona Sustainable Investments, which first invested in Caravela in 2011. Since then, Caravela has expanded from one export and import operation to seven export and three import operations today. “Caravela has successfully shown that quasi-equity structured investments in disruptive ‘de- commoditised’ business models can have huge positive socio-economic outcomes for coffee producers and be very profitable at the same time,” says Walter Hetterschijt, Managing Director of Annona Sustainable Investments. “Thanks to all at Caravela for the inspiring eight years. We wish coffee producers, Caravela and Oikocredit a very fruitful long-term cooperation.” Read more:
• Check in, check off with World Coffee Research
• Caravela Coffee donates US$130,000 to World Coffee Research Since its foundation, Caravela increased its green coffee sales volume from less than one thousand tonnes to almost five thousand per year, with sales growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25.6 per cent. “Welcoming Oikocredit as a shareholder allows us to have a strong partner that can help us continue to innovate and grow with transparency and traceability for the whole coffee chain, while maintaining quality at the core of our offering,” Caravela Co-founder and CFO Giancarlo Ghiretti says. In 2018, Caravela responsibly sourced coffee from almost 4000 farmers in eight Latin American countries and sold to 275 specialty coffee roasters in 27 countries. Caravela paid nearly US$ 10 million in quality premiums to producers, representing on average an 88% premium over commodity market prices. Caravela’s on-the-ground team and educational programmes help farmers produce high quality coffee. Forty per cent of Caravela’s 175 employees work full-time with farmers, either as agronomists or quality analysts. With market prices declining to historic lows, Caravela says it is critical to empower and reward coffee producers for their quality coffee with prices well above their costs of production. “I would like to thank Annona for their instrumental support over the last eight years which helped us reach new heights, and we are excited to welcome Oikocredit as an investor and shareholder in Caravela,” says Alejandro Cadena, CEO and the other Co-founder of Caravela. “With Oikocredit, we share the same vision of generating positive financial, social, and environmental return in Latin America’s rural communities, and look forward to this new partnership as we continue to grow, staying true to our mission of generating positive impact for the entire coffee industry.” Global Coffee Report has launched a LinkedIn Showcase page. Follow HERE for up-to-date news and analysis of the global coffee industry.

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