Prorganica is the only supplier of organic, high-oleic sunflower oil and canola in Paraguay and has access to world markets. Trade finance from Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund allowed Prorganica to increase its sales to an important international buyer and to guarantee payment upon delivery to its 250 farmers, who secure a premium payment for organic production. 

Important source of protein

Canola - or rapeseed oil - was produced in the 19th century as a source of a lubricant for steam engines. Nowadays the seed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel. It ranks among the leading sources of vegetable oil in the world, after soybean and oil palm, and is the world's second leading source of protein meal.

Changing crops

Prorganica S.A. was founded in 2005 as a family company. Owner Alejandro Pozzi introduced organic farming to the local, small-scale producers and gave them access to the international market. Prorganica started as an organic cotton trading company. However, cotton production in Paraguay is increasingly dominated by GMO (Genetically-Modified Organism) techniques. GMO-seeds are increasingly being distriburted, which further increases the risk of contamination of organic cotton seeds. Prorganica made a strategic switch and decided to invest in the production and processing of alternative crops. It successfully stimulated its farmers to grow sunflower seeds, canola and chia as their cash crops.

A keen eye on the future

Nelleke Veenstra, Senior Investment Officer: 'Prorganica has a strong commitment towards small-scale producers and regards organic production as a way to increase farmers’ income and to secure delivery. The company also has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. For example, by investing in additional processing equipment it will improve the quality of oils to the level of the cosmetic industry. This will further increase Prorganica’s market opportunities.'

Take a look at the world map for more examples in Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund's portfolio.