International experts convene to advance industry knowledge of sustainable coffee production
As climate change poses increasing challenges for coffee producers, the need to identify new production techniques and technologies is growing. To address these issues in the coffee sector in El Salvador, the Centre for Coffee Research and Education co-hosted the second edition of the World Coffee Science Summit from June 6 to 8, supported by the eco.business Development Facility (DF). This was the second time in a row that the eco.business DF had co-sponsored this important event to advance industry knowledge on sustainable coffee production.
More than 700 international experts from 12 countries came together under the slogan “Science Leads the Way” to exchange on topics such as plant nutrition, soil science, climate change, sustainability, and innovation in the future of coffee growing.
At a joint stand, representatives of the eco.business Fund and Banco Hipotecario, El Salvador, exchanged experiences with clients, companies, and producers, and showcased a technical assistance project they are currently implementing with the bank’s clients from the coffee sector. The project includes a survey on productive, social and environmental indicators in the field, conducted via mobile devices with up to 250 clients from the coffee sector; the synchronization of the data via information management tools; and specialized mobile applications and improved technical equipment such as drones that facilitate the assessment of social and environmental risks of clients.
Over the course of the three-day event, producers and other members of the coffee production chain conferred with the bank’s staff about trends in the industry as well as the advantages of the bank’s new technological approach. Selected coffee producers and end-clients of the eco.business Fund were invited to the event. The attendees highly appreciated the constructive discussions during the panels as well as the networking opportunities and the fund’s support.
Events such as the World Coffee Science Summit, with a focus on sustainability and adaptation to climate change, are key for this sector, as they help to develop solutions and allow key actors to adapt appropriate sustainable techniques.
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund is spearheading the promotion of business practices that contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources, and climate change mitigation and adaptation through private enterprises. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both financial and environmental returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified local financial institutions that lend the money to eligible borrowers, which include holders of recognized certifications or those making improvements in line with conservation and biodiversity goals. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery, forestry and eco-tourism.
The eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It has received further donor support from the European Commission. The additional investor base comprises Dutch development bank FMO, the Austrian development bank OeEB and institutional investors such as sustainable banking institution ASN Bank, German ethical bank GLS, Calvert Impact Capital, and Raiffeisen Bank International. Finance in Motion, a leading impact investing company, is also an investor.
Operating hand-in-hand with the eco.business Fund, the eco.business Development Facility provides high-impact technical assistance at the sector level to local lending institutions and final borrowers.
For more information please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund
About the eco.business Fund Development Facility
The eco.business Fund Development Facility was created in 2014 to support the environmental funding office. Its main goal is to maximize the impact of the Fund by complementing its investment activities with an efficient, specific and innovative assistance technique in the beneficiary countries.
The program is implemented through training projects, direct support to the financial sector and applied research, with the goal of strengthening the internal skills and the transactions of institutions associated with the Fund.
About Banco Hipotecario de El Salvador
The Banco Hipotecario de El Salvador aims at the specialized attention of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Thanks to the support of the government, which is now its main shareholder, it was founded in 1935 through the integration of important agricultural and livestock associations. In the country’s financial system today, the bank is seventh by share portfolio size and third largest by number of business loans, and is the leader in the placement of credits for the coffee cultivation and passenger public transport.
Banco Hipotecario has developed an important role in the past years, favoring the economy of El Salvador, with a composition mainly focused on the productive sectors that takes into account economic, social and environmental dimensions. The bank complies with ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 certifications, and is a pioneer in the use of drones and Geographic Information Systems for evaluating and monitoring their customers.