Ecological Producers to Market Initiative (EPMI)

Ecological Producers to Market Initiative (EPMI)

PeruCalca, Peru
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In Peru, there are thousands of certified ecological producers (CEPs) who lack a valuable market for their produce. EPMI will create a platform for connecting producers to restaurants and market a brand that will create awareness and demand for small farmer's ecological goods.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

CEPs are unable to engage a market for their organics CEPs are not benefitting from their eco practices and the restaurant culinary sector is not aware that small local producers are able to meet their needs with certified eco produce. It is a problem worldwide that Small farmers have not effectively entered the restaurant sector. Small farmers are not benefitting from eco practices and are returning to conventional methods.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

EPMI consists of two main activities: organize farmers to meet restaurant needs, and ambitiously market already established CEP brand to create awareness. National farmer organization ANPE is committed to organizing thousands of farmers(supply side) and the AASD will promote the brand (demand side). EPMI will utilize an innovative marketing approach to, not only create awareness, but engage restaurants and clientele to actively promote the brand using social media and crowdsourcing.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Lidia has two small plots where she grows quinoa, cabbage, lettuce, and beets. She received training and guidance from NGOs and the gov that helped her maintain traditional eco growing practices. She believes in eco agriculture. She is part of a national program and is a certified ecological producer, she is among 12,000 in Peru. The cert does not help her because the local market does not pay extra for organic goods. She becomes a part of EPMI. Juana and Robi are college students in Cusco. They have heard of a brand that supports small producers and have sought out a collaborating restaurant. Lidia is selling her produce for 70% more to restaurants. Her neighbors convert their plots and become certified. Lidia is pumped!
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

AASD has collaborated with government and NGOs in supporting ecological producers. AgroEco is a large national project that focused on capacitating and certifying eco producers, however, their activities did not take into account the enabling environment and focused on creating markets that didn't exist. EPMI has researched and evaluated markets and will be focusing on the most valuable, which is restaurants. EPMI will also focus on marketing in order to inform create brand awareness and empower restaurant clientele to create demand. we are already collaborating with AgroEco and restaurants.
About You
Organization:
The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD)
About You
First Name

Aaron

Last Name

Ebner

About Your Project
Organization Name

The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD)

Organization Country

, CU, Calca

Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

I run a farm like my neighbors. I am part of a small farming collective in my community. We recently went through a process of organic certification (SGP). As director of the AASD I was involved in the regional directive of this national SGP program however, I was the only person on the board who was actually part of a farming collective that would benefit from being certified. My role as facilitator of SGP and as a small farmer beneficiary gave me unique perspective that led me to develop EPMI over the course of a year. I realized that myself along with my farming collective are not truly benefiting from the sustainable ag movement. I know I can help myself as a farmer by harnessing my experience and reputation as a social entrepreneur.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Sustainable Agriculture, Smallholder Farmers, Supply Chain Micro-entrepreneurs.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

AASD survey's show that clientele of mid-high end restaurants prefer to patron restaurants that explicitly support CEPs, they are also willing to pay more to dine at these restaurants. Frutos de la Tierra is the brand that will identify CEPs and the AASD will focus on marketing this brand. We will use an ambitious approach targeting the travel industry and Peru's booming culinary environment. Restaurant clientele will be given the tools to promote the brand and influence restaurants to join.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Since 2008, the AASD has worked with over 200 producers through national partner ANPE. In the first year 35-55 producer families will sell 15% of their crops for a price 70-120% higher than conventional prices. 10 restaurants will be engaged. Scale can be achieved rapidly following phase 1.After 2 years EPMI will impact the lives of 350 producers in two regions of Peru. Half of ANPE's 12,000 producers will be engaged in the program after 5 years. These numbers are based on restaurant commitments and existing capacity of certified producers. Once producers engage the market the value of their produce will justify their eco practices. This will improve the lives of poor producers and encourage other producers to go eco, becoming more sustainable and providing healthy food to families. 27 countries have certified producer programs, that can benefit from EPMI. we can really scale up!

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

Effective scaling will rely on the strength of the brand. AASD partner ANPE has a national network of over 12,000 producers who can greatly benefit from EPMI. ANPE is committed to EPMI and nationwide scale can be reached. Participation will greatly increase as more producers earn from EPMI. Restaurant clientele participation, social media campaigns and events will encourage restaurants to join the program due to demand from clientele. The first two years will focus on our network of producers and restaurants in the Cusco region. Nationwide after two years. CEPs are certified from a process created by IFOAM which has similar projects in 27 countries worldwide. Our brand and process can be scaled internationally.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Financial sustainability will rely on profits from sales. Restaurants purchase organic produce from large farms for 70-120% more than conventional prices. EPMI will take a percentage of profits to maintain and scale project. The identified profits will be sufficient to satisfy CEPs as well as maintain the project. After initial funding EPMI will become a thriving social business.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

The previous initiatives I have pioneered fall into two categories: development education and AASD initiatives. In grad school(2009) I founded Team Peru at the Monterey Institute (MIIS). Since then I have facilitated over 120 grad students and 3 professors in Peru. I pioneered ag projects with the Lares gov that are currently being scaled by the gov. I have founded and run a demonstration farm holding workshops and trainings. I founded the AASD.