La Botica Verde - Bridging the Supply Gap between Rural Organic Smallholders and a Growing Urban Demand

Organic products delivered straight to your door. No hassle, zero waste, supporting small producers for a healthier planet & people.

Photo of Michelle Berkowitz Sultan
24 46

Written by

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

  • Spanish

Organization name

La Botica Verde

Year founded

2017

Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50 - 100

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Guatemala

Headquarters location: City

Antigua, Sacatepequez

Location(s) of impact

Guatemala: San Martin Jilotepeque, Jocotenango, San Juan Alotenango, San Miguel Dueñas, Santiago Sacatepequez, San Pedro las Huertas, Villa Canales..

Website

http://www.botica-verde.com

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/laboticaverde1/

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Despite growing demand for organic goods in Guatemalan urban centers, rural organic smallholders are not able to capitalize on this opportunity. This is due primarily to smallholders lacking: a) technical know-how, b) the ability to aggregate commodities, and c) connections to higher-paying buyers. This results in smallholders’ inability to supply individual and commercial markets with quality goods, week after week, which in turn results in producers earning less income and in local markets remaining underserved.

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

Jose is a small producer from El Hato, Sacatepequez. He is a young worker renting ¼ of an acre that he is managing organically. When La Botica Verde found Jose, he was having trouble finding clients. La Botica Verde trained Jose and offered to buy his produce every week at a higher price than he was getting before. Jose was thrilled! Having access to a consistent market meant more time and resources to do what he loved: growing organic vegetables and teaching others in his community how to do it.

La Botica Verde provides rural organic smallholders with access to local markets for increased income generation. We are a food distribution company that aggregates local, organic produce and delivers it to individuals and companies seeking high quality, healthy, and trustworthy ingredients. We work side by side with our producers to increase productivity and meet commercialization standards so that they may be able to reach urban markets willing to pay premium prices.

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

This is our measured impact to date. Please note that we’ve only been operating for 6 months and are still in the process of establishing our monitoring and evaluation program.

OUTPUTS
Social
- Local employment: 1 employee ($460 - working one day a week)
- Income generation for associated producers: 20 producers ($3,620 total)
- Access to organic foods: 40 clients who ordered at least once

Environmental
- Natural resource management (soil and water): TBD
- Trash reduction: TBD
- Biodiversity preservation: TBD

Financial
- Revenues: $6,850
- Customer acquisition: 40 customers
- Customer retention: 62.5%

OUTCOMES (Qualitative)
- Health & nutrition: "For me, buying organic is important for my health. I realize that I don't see the benefits of it today, but as a cancer survivor, I'm reminded of the dangers of what we're putting into our bodies on a daily basis. I want to do what I can to make sure that I'm healthy today and in the future." - Mindy, Customer

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

1. Individual donations or gifts - $10k (personal contributions)
2. Grants - $50k
3. Earned income - $16-20k (year 1 revenues)
4. Other - $20k (debt)

Our business is currently being financed by revenues generated from weekly orders and self-financing. In order to reach financial sustainability, we are seeking a combination of individual donations, grants, and debt. We do not have plans to finance the enterprise with equity in the short to medium term. We believe we would be able to break even around 100 orders a week (assuming no debt). If we expand to different markets (i.e selling to restaurants), we may be able to reach break even faster.

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

La Botica Verde puts health first - the health of our clients, the health of our producers, and the health of our planet. We create a remarkable, trustworthy and liberating experience so our customers fall in love with our products and continue to place orders week after week. By leveraging technology, we provide a service that is convenient and easy to use. Most importantly, we build lasting relationships with our stakeholders to guarantee the long-term sustainability of our business.

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

La Botica Verde was born out of a commitment to make the world a better place. Having grown up in Guatemala, it was impossible for us to turn a blind eye to the role that agriculture plays in our health, the health of farmers, and the health of our planet. What we eat directly affects the status of our health. How it’s grown directly impacts the well-being of producers. The way the landscape is cleared, the soil prepared, and the water used is all connected to our ecosystems. Ecosystems that we are a part of. When Giuliana Gobbato and I met, we were both rock climbers and avid land stewards. We decided to start La Botica Verde as a way to create healthy ecosystems in which all organisms can thrive.

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

  • Upon recommendation from others

24 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Sebastian Gatica

Felicitaciones por la iniciativa! A ver si traemos la Botica Verde a Chile.
Saludos y suerte

View all comments