Caribe Juice: Building small farmers through consumer food innovation.

We buy excess produce from small farmers in the Dominican Republic at fair value and create a healthy juice line with exotic flavors.

Photo of Luis Solis
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Caribe Juice LLC

Year founded

2014

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • United States of America

Headquarters location: City

Washington, DC USA and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Location(s) of impact

Dominican Republic: Entire Country
United States: Northeast and Mid Atlantic Region

Website

http://www.caribejuice.com

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/pg/caribejuiceco
https://www.instagram.com/caribe

Twitter URL

https://twitter.com/CaribeJuice

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

We are attacking two different problems. From the supply end, we are creating a market for struggling farmers in the Dominican Republic and pushing them to be more efficient in their business. From the demand end, we see a lack of healthy wholesome juice options in the US market for multicultural families.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

On the supply end, our solution is to use the delicious nutrient rich fruits from Dominican farmers to create an innovative brand in the United States.
On the demand end, our solution is to bring the homemade tropical juice culture, popular in a lot of asian and latin american countries, in the most wholesome and nutritious way possible.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

To date we have employed over 40 people in the US and are buying produce from over 33 small farmers in the Dominican Republic. Our Guava fruit is wildly harvested, which means we have to travel to communities that have wild Guava plants. We hire farmers and volunteers to travel and pick the Guava fruit from the trees. This creates opportunity and employment within the Dominican Republic.

During the beginning of 2017, we were able to raise capital to begin building our own factory in the Dominican Republic and also launching our brand. We are expecting to have the factory built and operating by January 2018. It will generate over 50+ full time jobs in the community and will create 500+ indirect jobs in small farms throughout the country.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Our concept is that of a B corp. Since we are in an early stage we have to raise capital from external investors to be able to fund the business, but we expect that in 5 years we will generate enough profits to be self funded.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We are empowering small farmers in a developing country by using their yield to create an innovative brand that can be competitive in a developed country. We use HPP technology to preserve our juices. This is a relatively new technology that keeps the products freshness and nutrition intact, while also increasing its shelf life. We are also bringing the homemade tropical juice experience, which is popular in a lot of countries, to the US. Our vision is to be able to serve as a bridge.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Back in 2014, an American MBA classmate and I took a trip to the Dominican Republic. During our stay, my mom invited us over for lunch. While waiting to eat, she served us homemade passion fruit juice, a cultural staple in the DR. After taking a sip, my friend's reaction was priceless; he couldn't believe how good it tasted. He immediately asked me where he could it in the US, which triggered my disappointing flashbacks of looking for the juice. I had been trying to get fresh passion fruit juice in the US ever since I moved to Miami in 2007 and hadn't been able to find any. Through research, I found out that these juices are popular among several tropical countries. Many were missing and seeking the taste of home. Further, I found out that farmers of these exotic fruits have a lot of waste because of lack of demand. After this, I felt a personal responsibility to start Caribe.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others

4 comments

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Photo of MARCELA SOLIS GAONA

Hola Luis, espero que logren concretar su proyecto, que lleves nuevos y mejores productos al consumidor y que generes beneficios justos al sistema de proveedores o productores y todos tengan beneficios justos, éxito. Saludos desde México. Marcela

Photo of Luis

Hola Marcela, muchísimas gracias por sus deseos. Igualmente le deseamos éxitos a ustedes.

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