Stronger, more resilient and sustainable businesses
Progress in tailored lending
This year presented us with yet another set of challenges as we endeavoured to expand our lending portfolio, both by adding new facilities and increasing our existing customer base. We approved five new facilities, a decrease from the seven approved in the previous year. The total value of these new facilities amounted to £1.3m.
Out of these, four were related to coffee and involved Export Credit facilities. The fifth facility was extended to a French Bean producer in Rwanda who opted for a Stock Facility, a choice better aligned with their market needs. This type of facility does not restrict them to a contract and provides them with the entirety of the funds upfront, enabling them to purchase products as they become available for harvest.
In addition, we observed a reduction in the number of existing customer facility increases, with only eight recorded during the year, compared to the 18 achieved last year. These increases amounted to £721k, with an average of £90k. Out of these, four were in the form of working capital facilities, one in the form of Buyer Credit, and three as Stock facilities.
What is worth noting is the diversity in the value chains we served when it came to customer increases, with only two out of the eight relating to coffee. Apart from coffee and cocoa, we also extended our lending to a shea butter importer in the UK, a honey producer in Mexico, a soybean producer in Togo, a sphagnum moss producer and an alpaca fibre producer, both in Peru.
Increase in trading opportunities
Over the year, we have closely observed the challenges faced by our customers and despite these difficulties, our survey revealed 49% of respondents had seen increased sales, while 35% mentioned a decrease and the remainder reported static sales.
Based on the information obtained during our annual review process, we estimate that collectively these business have earned £982m, this is a slight increase from last year’s total of £954m. Furthermore, 109 customers recorded a profit this year, with 86 of them having seen an increase in the level of profit compared to the previous year.
During the producer consultations, we asked participants to share their organisations achievements and the factors that contributed to improved trading opportunities.
In Rwanda, participants highlighted the critical importance of receiving funds promptly, especially in the face of rising farm gate prices driven by intense local competition. Securing timely finance enabled them to procure coffee from their farmers ahead of their competitors. Similarly, in Uganda, where competition is also intense, the punctual disbursement of funds played a pivotal role in meeting contractual obligations with buyers. Furthermore, these producers shared that access to finance not only allowed them to retain their existing producer members but also encouraged more farmers to join their organisations. This has not only increased their capacity to purchase larger quantities of coffee but has also broadened their market opportunities, as they have been able to engage with more buyers.
In Peru, one organisation highlighted a successful year for their primary product, brown sugar. Furthermore, they have made significant progress in their pre-feasibility study to incorporate technology into their production process, marking a crucial step in evaluating the potential investment for a new plant.
In Nicaragua, a coffee co-operative overcame local competition and coffee price speculation by maintaining strong communication with its members. They ensured members were well informed about the co-operative's performance, plans, and goals, and provided training in co-operative philosophy. Moreover, they enhanced their internal processes to boost operational efficiency. Additionally, they achieved a significant milestone by obtaining their own export license, which increased their independence and control over the exportation of their coffee products.
“In the time EDUCE has been formed, it has narrowed the space between the beekeepers, the producers and the clients. So the price we can get is as good as it can possibly be because there are no intermediaries. And then at the end of the year, we have a profit, a leftover amount that we can pass on to the beekeepers.”
~ EDUCE Plant Manager Juan Carlos Munguía
"My greatest pride is to have doubled our export volume of cocoa beans in four years, from 3,000 to 6,000 tonnes. We do not intend to stop there, because the vision is much bigger.”
~ Aboudramane Traoré Sustainability and Export Manager of CAYATBack to Menu