Press Releases

IFC, Partners Promote Sustainable Coffee Practices and Productivity in Central America, Mexico

In Peru:
Clara Ugarte Perrin
Phone:  (51-1) 611-2501

Managua, Nicaragua, July 22, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and its partners have helped implement sustainable practices, improve productivity, and increase the income of more than 12,000 small and midsize coffee producers in the Ecom–Nestlé supply chain in Central America and Mexico.

The $1.5 million joint project was implemented by IFC, Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd., a global leader in green coffee trade, and the Nestlé Group in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, and Nicaragua.  Thanks to the advisory services received, growers increased their income by $3.7 million in premiums during the three-year project.

“We knew that by collaborating with multiple stakeholders, we would be challenged to see how good we could get,” said Eric Ponçon, Ecom’s Regional Director.  “Through continuous learning and building new sets of tools and abilities, we’ve been able to strengthen our local capacities and provide better service to our producers.”

In Nicaragua, for example, more than 1,000 producers were trained on sustainable farming; unitary costs were reduced by between $5.00 and $6.70 per hundred pound bags; 64,440 new varieties were planted and grown on 38 demonstration plots.

Rick van der Kamp, IFC Operations Officer said, “We are pleased with the project’s results and the strong relationship we have built with our partners.  This project clearly shows we can create opportunities for improving the standards and sustainability of the coffee producers, and also improving the quality of life of the participating families in the region and soon in Asia and Africa.”

The project’s success is based on a combination of advisory services, access to financing, and a strong commitment to buying increasing amounts of sustainable coffee.  IFC also provided Ecom with a $25 million loan to onlend to producers for short- and medium-term investments on their farms.  IFC and Ecom look forward to implementing this model in Asia and Africa where it can help improve the standards and profitability of producers.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit

For more information about Ecom, visit
For Nestlé, visit