Promoting Success Among Small Farmers
When SEAF first invested in 2005, Sunshine Exports was a small Peruvian produce exporter that packaged and sold fresh mangos from local farmers to international markets. Since then, with SEAF’s help, Sunshine expanded its product line to include pineapples and avocados and introduced two new processing facilities. The company’s growth generated new employment and increased profits for the farmers, workers and company.
In a region with high poverty, Sunshine’s growth generated year-round and seasonal employment at the company and local farms. Sunshine operates in rural Northern Peru, where over 60% of the population lives in poverty. Employment in the area is predominately agricultural and seasonal, and families often struggle to earn an income between harvests. Sunshine’s transition into a multi-product fruit processing company nearly doubled the workforce its operations support to 3,000 employees during high season and increased business for its over 450 small-holder farmers.
SEAF’s funding helped Sunshine expand its existing fresh fruit packing facility to accommodate 40% more produce from its network of small farmers. In addition, funds were used to build two new frozen and dehydrated fruit processing plants, extending the company’s operations year-round and permitting Sunshine to process and export 100% of harvested produce, including bruised or blemished fruit that was previously discarded. This growth resulted in more business for farmers and the company and increased employment opportunities in the region.
In addition to increased profits and connections to international markets, Sunshine provides its farmers with valuable training and assistance. Sunshine trains producers in organic production and certification and provides technical assistance on crop management and maximization.
To provide greater economic security, Sunshine offers its farmers formal contracts guaranteeing in advance the sale of produce at an agreed-upon price. Sunshine also helps farmers access financing and partially subsidizes organic certification costs.
In addition, Sunshine organizes social activities for farmers’ families and communities, providing summer school, visual arts, holiday events, and youth education. Children are taught about agricultural science, environmental preservation and global issues. As a result of Sunshine’s involvement in local communities, the company has been able to grow and retain its loyal and diversified supply base, positioning the company for further sustainable growth and ensuring continued positive impacts in the local communities.