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CORE Invests in Leading Haitian Social Enterprise Acceso Haiti to Further Joint Work
Acceso Haiti brings years of experience tackling rural poverty in the Central Plateau through comprehensive and effective agricultural training and input programs, and linking thousands of smallholder farmers to formal, stable markets to sell their crops so they can work themselves out of poverty with dignity. Since 2017, CORE and Acceso Haiti have partnered on the development of new high impact initiatives to solve poverty focusing on community building and environmental resilience through rural reforestation. CORE’s equity investment of 20 percent in Acceso Haiti builds upon their successful partnership and will further this work.
HAITI – April 6, 2021 – Acceso Haiti is a social enterprise founded by leading social agribusiness builder in Latin America and the Caribbean, Acceso (meaning “access” in Spanish). Acceso Haiti is dedicated towards creating lasting economic change in the lives of rural smallholder farming families and improving food security, and has been working in Haiti since 2014. Acceso Haiti works along the whole value chain between farmers and markets, impacting more than 7,400 farmers in Haiti through training, the distribution of inputs including seeds, nursery management, and formal market connections. This includes the sale of 1.7 metric tons of locally grown peanuts to local and international buyers. Acceso Haiti also works on broader food ecosystem development, operating a locally sourced feeding program reaching 4,000 children daily with 1.5 million nutrition snacks to date in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Acceso Haiti has also successfully planted over 1.7 million seedlings as part of its market-linked reforestation activities and has developed one of the few successful export products, Lavi Spicy Peanut Butter, for sale in the U.S. and Canada, fully produced in Haiti and sourced from Haitian smallholder farmers.
In partnership with CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) Acceso Haiti has expanded into moringa leaf and seed production, specifically through training, demonstration plots, and seedlings for farmers. By introducing moringa trees to farmers who traditionally grew peanuts, farmers are now able to harvest between peanut seasons which improves their soil quality and productivity. Farmers also increase their revenue generating assets: trees and micro-orchards.
CORE’s reforestation program in Haiti, Haiti Takes Root, is a coalition of organizations, including the World Bank, aiming to strengthen the climate resilience of Haitian communities by building capacity and coordination for reforestation and natural resource management, using an integrated, sustainable, and people-centered approach.
The acquisition of an equity stake in Acceso Haiti is CORE’s first impact investment and an exciting step for the organization to build on their past work in Haiti and continue to support Acceso Haiti’s highly impactful model.
Ann Lee, CEO of CORE, commented, “We value Acceso Haiti’s partnership and the expertise that they bring through their pioneering social enterprise model. We are proud to support and work with them towards improving livelihoods of rural Haitians and alleviating poverty while tackling climate challenges through reforestation.”
“We are grateful to CORE for their partnership in Haiti and their ongoing critical role supporting Covid-19 relief in the U.S. In Haiti, we have seen through our work that additional crops can greatly increase farmer incomes, reduce poverty, and allow them to invest in their families’ well- being. We believe the innovative approach we are jointly taking to tackle deforestation while generating long-term income streams for farmers are the most innovative solutions to boosting rural development in Haiti,” said Frank Giustra, founder of Acceso.
Acceso Haiti has bold plans to continue scaling its work in Haiti to reach more farmers, particularly through the deployment of the region’s most advanced agritech solution (specifically digital/SMS communication that supplements in-field training), expanding its processing capacities to become a leading exporter of products sourced from Haitian farmers including moringa, and doubling its locally-sourced school feeding program to reach 8,000 students daily with nutritious meals.
Acceso’s pioneering entrepreneurial model provides smallholder farmers with a sustainable way to participate in formal markets, enabling them to work themselves out of poverty with dignity and to prosper. Acceso focuses on five key initiatives: empowering farmers to improve agricultural production, guaranteeing market access, boosting local social entrepreneurship, improving food security, and market linked reforestation. Acceso’s current social businesses in Colombia, El Salvador, and Haiti have generated over $55M for more than 15,000 smallholder farmers and farm workers. More information at www.acceso.org and follow Acceso on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a nonprofit organization co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee that is dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crisis. Within hours of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Penn mobilized a powerful network to take immediate action. More than 11 years later, CORE continues to lead sustainable programs focused on four pillars: emergency relief, disaster preparedness, environmental resiliency and community building. The organization has expanded beyond Haiti to support communities in The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the United States. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CORE has been operating free testing sites across the country alongside local partners, providing essential resources and contact tracing services as well as part of its integrated “CORE 8” approach to combat the pandemic. In 2021, CORE is working with its partners nationwide to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines as they become available to the communities the organization serves.
For more information about CORE, please visit www.coreresponse.org/covid-19 and follow CORE on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.