First and Last Name: Tiffany Aquino
Fairleaf Foods was inspired by experiences of four friends while living in a rural village in the mountains of Nicaragua. The three other co-founders were in the Peace Corps while I was completing my MPH internship nearby. In our poor farming communities, we witnessed first hand the devastation that malnutrition causes on a regular basis. Working in food security, we all experimented with Moringa recipes and enjoyed eating them together. We realized that if we enjoyed them so much, others would too, especially if they knew their purchase fueled real social change.
Fairleaf Foods will utilize Moringa trees as a tool to empower communities to nourish themselves. Moringa is a drought resistant, nutrient dense, fast growing superfood. We will harness the economic power of the US market, utilizing untapped profitability to fund our social mission. By offering nutrient-rich, organic, and fair trade Moringa fortified foods and beverages, we will nourish our consumers while fighting hunger and poverty in impoverished communities. We'll train and source directly from smallholder farmers, eliminating middle men and boosting farmer's profits. A portion of all profits will then be infused back into the farmer's communities, creating jobs and supporting nutrition education, reforestation, and food security programs that use Moringa as a key tool.
We hope our business model has an impact on the free market. By introducing Moringa into mainstream food markets and illustrating the profitability of social and environmental stewardship, we will influence global trends in food production to focus more on their producers in the supply chain. We will demonstrate the possibility for social enterprises to enhance agriculture and food security models for greater impact. By promoting a direct-from-farmer supply chain, we will achieve a higher impact than the common fair trade trends. We will support the education, empowerment, and economic benefits of smallholder farming communities where so much of our food already comes from.
Instead of giving out band aid solutions and handouts, we will be creating a cycle that empowers smallholder farmers, families, and entire communities. Our program is centered upon enabling smallholder farmers to build a sustainable supply chain. We will ensure a broad impact in food security through addressing the root causes of hunger. By starting with these economic roots, we will sustain our impact through building capacity in communities. Our hybrid business structure will allow us to fund our social mission while entering the mainstream market quickly. Furthermore, our funding stream will not depend on donations, allowing us to adapt to market demands and fluctuations.
Success will not only be reflected in US sales reports, but more importantly through increases in food security, economic empowerment, and capacity of our producers. We'll report with full transparency on our work by evaluating our cohort of beneficiaries and surrounding communities regularly. Using validated scales, we'll assess economic status, food security, malnutrition, awareness, uptake of Moringa in the diet, and income increases attributed to our program. We'll evaluate sustainability of our supply chain to meet demands of production, measured by 100% of orders filled. We will measure proportion of crop sold and regularly monitor sales reports and market growth by region.
These funds will allow me the flexibility to focus on this project full time, making it possible to turn our dream into a reality. Currently, we are focused on piloting our first line of products in the US to develop an efficient market process. We will have access to resources necessary for success in our start-up phase. We will be able to launch sales, establish a customer base, and start relationships with US vendors. We will have the means to establish our training curriculum and support more smallholder farmers to start producing. This funding will be significant in enabling us to pursue our dream of empowering small farming communities by introducing the super food Moringa in the US.
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Friday, May 17
at 12:00 PM PDT
Friday, May 31
Friday, June 14
at 12:00 PM PDT
Tuesday, July 02