By Natalia Perez, Summer Intern and Frontier Market Scout
What sets Byoearth apart from other organic fertilizer (vermicompost) companies is that it has an inclusive business model with a value chain that includes production assistance from women’s vermicompost cooperatives in Sumpango & San Bartolo (Saquetepequez), as well as, women from Guatemala City’s poorest area, Zone 3.
The last few months have been very hectic ones at Byoearth, as the roll out of new exciting products: Seed Bombs, Herb Gardens, and Worm Tea have increased collaboration, capacity building, and business skills training between the Byoearth staff and the various women and communities they work with.
Byoearth’s products have social impacts every step of the way. The organic fertilizer they use in their products is made by the women’s cooperatives. Further, the packaging for all of products is also made by the various communities with whom they work, specially the women from Zone 3. They source recycled materials for packaging for the abono, the seed bombs, and the worm tea.
The women of the vermicomposting cooperatives of San Bartolo & Sumpango also grow the herbs and source and create the containers for the Herb Gardens. All of this adds up to many opportunities for the women to earn extra (or in many cases), an, income.
Byoearth’s does not only incorporate the various communities into its value chain and inclusive business model – but also do a lot of work in capacity building and business transfer skills. This means everything possible to ensure that the women are as successful as possible. The company wants to create win-win relationships that benefit everyone along the way. In this sense, they not only assist the women in how to create the best organic fertilizer possible, but also train them on how to negotiate, how to sell and find other markets, how to have better teamwork, how to educate their community farmers about the dangers of chemical fertilizers, and if interested how to start their own business.
When people buy Byoearth’s products we want them to know that they aren’t just supporting a company with Earth friendly and socially conscious products, but also supporting poverty alleviation, women’s empowerment, and increasing the quality of life for over 100 women throughout Guatemala!
By Natalia Perez, Summer Intern & Frontier Market Scout July/Aug 2013