Heifer Guatemala’s Green Business Belt project is supporting 6,250 farmers to close the living income gap in the northern rainforest through sustainable spice production.
As part of the Green Business Belt project, Heifer Impact Capital invested in Nueva Kerala, a new spice processing and distribution company based in Cobán. The company processes and distributes locally grown cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper, selling directly to spice importers around the world.
The investment provides a total of $840,000 in a combination of equity, a revolving line of credit used to purchase spices from local farmers and a term loan for purchasing equipment. Local financial cooperatives are also being supported by Heifer Impact Capital to provide much-needed working capital to small-scale spice farmers to help finance critical supplies for their operations.
Heifer Impact Capital works with Nueva Kerala to ensure its products meet United States and European Union import regulations. Through its international connections with partners such as J.M. Thomason, Nueva Kerala will provide farmers with access to new markets, enabling them to increase their incomes. The company will also provide local jobs that pay a living wage.
Once Nueva Kerala is financially independent, Heifer Impact Capital plans to transition its 49% equity stake to farmers.