If I could wake up every day and select a guilt free breakfast, I would pick two things: honey glazed grilled pineapple and a fresh buttery croissant with Nutella.
I would like to take this time to examine my second selection – the French and Italian “collaboration” of greatness, and, particularly, the delicious hazelnut spread.
My food fantasizing is occurring during the #Blending4Ag conference and for good reason – blended finance has helped improve livelihoods, ecosystems, and quality through the hazelnut market and Ferrero Rocher.
Ferrero Rocher, maker of Nutella and the wonderful spherical chocolates, is the largest hazelnut purchaser, while the Republic of Georgia, is the 6th largest hazelnut producer. Georgia’s hazelnut production has been marred by many difficulties – farmers who lack necessary technology and knowledge, poor processing, poor quality, and low traceability. This led to an unfortunate gap between supply and demand but rather than perceiving this as an up-hill battle for the national government to tackle, blended finance offers an alternate perspective. This gap represents an excellent opportunity for public and private investment and return – greater and higher quality of hazelnuts and improved agriculture processes and livelihoods.
A public-private alliance was formed focused on catalytic finance and technical assistance with a target group of 50,000 smallholder farmers. A small fund was set up in Georgia and this group focused on investing in training programs for farmers, supporting research and development, and the development of traceability mechanisms from farm to the final step in the Italian factory.
This example, presented in the final hours of Day 1 of #Blending4Ag, was shared by a venture capital investor to further discuss how venture capital investors in developing countries can collaborate for blended finance for agri-investments. This project, an excellent example of public and private collaborations, brought the producer from nearly zero to being able to export a high-quality product and receive a higher and more stable income.
Not only is this a #Blending4Ag success but it is a resounding win for the lovers of sweet breakfast.