Commitment announced at Clinton Global Initiative Action Network meeting in St. Thomas will evaluate feasibility to increase local sourcing and improve farmer incomes.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (June 4, 2019) - At a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery hosted by President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) announced a commitment to launch an assessment in the Dominican Republic that would evaluate feasibility to increase sourcing from local farmers, connecting new customers and improving incomes for farmers in the region. Club Med and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) have committed as partners for this project.
The commitment aims to provide a boost to the Dominican Republic’s agricultural sector. Smallholder farmers account for 73% of the farmers in the Dominican Republic. These smallholder farmers face threats from natural disasters, low productivity, little to no information about, or proximity to, end-markets that pay fair prices for their products. As a result, the Dominican Republic is a net importer of food.
This assessment will chart agricultural capacity across the island, identifying both potential crops that could be sourced and companies including Club Med that can serve as buyers for these products. Following research and feasibility analysis, CGEP will work to establish a social business that will purchase these crops and source them to buyers – creating new demand and higher income for smallholder farmers on the island. This builds on Club Med’s commitment to environmentally sustainable local sourcing solutions and PADF’s work of empowering communities in Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve sustainable economic and social progress.
CGEP, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, brings twelve years of building social businesses, including building end-to-end value chains supporting smallholder farmers in the agricultural sector. “Our social businesses have had significant positive impacts on the lives of farmers in El Salvador, Colombia, and Haiti,” said Frank Giustra, co-founder of CGEP. “I am excited to see our proven model being assessed for other regions, like the Dominican Republic, where I hope we can replicate our approach and help bridge the gap between farmers and buyers.”
“Ever since 1950, Club Med has been committed to pioneering new destinations and encouraging sustainable tourism. Over the years, we have continuously evolved our product based on our guests’ preferences, and what we have found is that travelers, now more than ever, are seeking truly immersive retreats. They seek to experience the local culture and especially its gastronomy,” shared Xavier Mufraggi, CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean. “With this program, our goal is to support the development of the local farming community, so they are able to act as a sustainable resource for the future of tourism to the Miches region of the Dominican Republic. We look forward to partnering with the local farmers so they can provide the necessary food resources for our newest resort, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, opening this December, and ultimately share the unique food and beverage offering of the region with guests from all over the world.”
“Sourcing food locally provides extensive benefits to our health, our economy, and our environment,” said Katie Taylor, Executive Director of the Pan American Development Foundation. “This type of partnership has the potential to fuel inclusive economic growth in the Dominican Republic and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. We are excited to collaborate with CGEP and Club Med to help local farmers become an integral part of the Dominican Republic’s tourism sector.”
The assessment and potential agribusiness will build on CGEP’s expertise in building social businesses that sustainably impact smallholder farmers and fishers around the world, including in Haiti, El Salvador, and Colombia. In El Salvador, for example, purchasing by partner buyers from local farmers, through CGEP’s social business Acceso El Salvador has increased by over $19 million since its launch in 2014. CGEP builds social agribusinesses to generate social impact and financial returns by addressing market gaps in developing countries’ supply chains. Through this model, CGEP seeks to help farmers work themselves out of poverty through quality, long-term market linkages. CGEP also launched a similar assessment in Puerto Rico in April with partners Marriott, Walmart, Avendra, and World Central Kitchen.
The commitment was announced Tuesday, June 4 at the CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery, which brings together leaders from government, business, and civil society to make commitments to help communities impacted by the 2017 hurricane season. At the meeting, participants discussed the current recovery efforts in the region, progress to date, ongoing challenges, and made Commitments to Action – specific and measurable projects that address critical issues such as food security, access to healthcare, small business support, sustainable tourism, and renewable energy.
About the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) is a social business builder that brings entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty – building from scratch, investing start-up capital, and managing agribusinesses that work with smallholder farmers and fishers. CGEP’s agribusinesses provide sustainably-sourced, high-quality local products that meet buyers’ demand at competitive prices and help improve the livelihoods of farmers and farming communities by improving agricultural productivity, creating job opportunities, and facilitating long-term linkages to high-value markets.
About Club Med
Club Med, founded in 1950, is the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering approximately 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Mediterranean. Each Club Med resort features authentic local style and comfortably upscale accommodations, superior sports programming and activities, enriching children's programs, gourmet dining, and warm and friendly service by its world-renown staff with legendary hospitality skills, an all-encompassing energy, and diverse backgrounds.
Club Med operates in more than 30 countries and continues to maintain its authentic Club Med spirit with an international staff of more than 23,000 employees from more than 110 different nationalities. Led by its pioneering spirit, Club Med continues to grow and adapt to each market with three to five new resort openings per year, including a new Alpine ski resort annually.
For more information, visit www.clubmed.us
About the Pan American Development Foundation
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) seeks to create a just, peaceful, and prosperous hemisphere where every person has the opportunity to thrive. PADF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962. We partner with and enable civil society, governments, and the private sector for the greater good of the region. Our work spans agro-forestation, urban and peri-urban agriculture, and climate smart agriculture in countries such as Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti.