Grow Ahead Launches!
More and more, we see that consumers want to play an increasingly active role in the value chain that puts food on their table and coffee in their mugs.
Grow Ahead gives consumers and farmers the platform to do business together.
By providing accessible, farmer-friendly financing to producer organizations, more Fair Trade coffee can be exported. More sales at higher prices and more fair terms helps farmers generate more income and thus improve their own livelihoods.
How it works
The process begins when you sign up to lend money on the Grow Ahead website. Your loan does not accrue interest (a right reserved for banks only); you will get the same amount back at the end of the cycle.
The money collected from lenders like you will be used to pre-finance a container of coffee from one of the producer groups who have chosen to partner with Grow Ahead. This means that your money will be transferred to the producer group, allowing them to purchase coffee from farmers and export it under Fair Trade conditions.
While your loan will not earn you interest, you will get more than just the satisfaction of knowing that you are actively participating in the supply chain that brings you your coffee. Once you have made a loan, you will receive a confirmation e-mail which will contain your lender's card—take your card to Equator to redeem rewards!
Grow Ahead charges producer organizations a fee for money loaned to help cover operating expenses. This fee is negotiated with each producer organization and Grow Ahead lenders will be able to see the fees charged for the container they helped to finance. These fees are a necessary part of a sustainable financial model: not only to they defray Grow Ahead's operating expenses, they prevent our loans from being unfairly competitive and disrupting local financial markets.
Once you have created an account, you can log in anytime to see your personalized timeline page. Regular updates on the status of your loan(s) will appear on your page. Once the container of coffee has been purchased from farmers, quality controlled, and shipped, the importer will repay Grow Ahead for the funds loaned. We will report to you when the transaction is complete.
The coffee will then arrive at its destination: our roastery! From here, you, your family, and friends will be able to enjoy the coffee that you helped to finance.
Once your transaction is complete, you will be presented with options about what you want to do with your money. You can either withdraw it, re-lend it to finance another container of coffee, or donate it to support capacity-building development projects for farmers and their organizations. You decide what to do with your money!