Linking Smallholder Farmers to High-value Markets in El Salvador
Agriculture & Fishing
Region of Initiative
Latin America and Caribbean
SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 2: Zero hunger, SDG 5: Gender equality, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Acceso El Salvador (Acceso), a social business that improves the livelihoods of farmers in El Salvador, joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to continue providing smallholder farmers in El Salvador with sustainable access to high-value markets along with training, inputs and technology. Acceso is working to further BCtA’s goals, empowering farmers, fishers, and other workers to improve their incomes and purchasing power.
More than 90 percent of El Salvador’s food producers are subsistence farmers. For these farmers, inefficient farming techniques, poor-quality inputs and a lack of access to market data and financing lead to low yields of variable quality. But with little connection to lucrative markets, they are unable to invest in improving production. Acceso has stepped in to fill this gap, building a strong inclusive value chain that benefits from economies of scale, logistics efficiencies and optimized quality management tailored to buyers’ needs.
Acceso, established by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership in 2013, has worked with 1,200 smallholder farmers and their workers to date and employs 100 local Salvadorian employees. By 2020, the company is projected to reach 1,400 smallholder farmers and their workers, along with 486 fishers who will all benefit from improved productivity, guaranteed access to markets and increased incomes.
Central to Acceso’s inclusive model is the belief that building farmers’ technical capacity and social capital drives commercial success. The company provides training, seeds, fertilizers and financing to improve farmers’ yields and quality. It then purchases their crops at competitive prices, aggregates them, performs quality control and processes them at local collection centers. Finally, it sells and delivers the crops to large buyers. Acceso reached profitability in July 2015, two years ahead of its original plan, showing that it is possible to achieve social impact in a commercially sustainable way. In 2016, Acceso expanded into fish and seafood, working directly with artisanal fishers and fish farmers.