Newsletter articles

With my chickens, I feel free

Blog 1.jpg30 January | 2019 Last month, a group of Oikocredit investors, volunteers and staff spent a week in Peru for the 2018 study tour. One of the partners they visited was financial inclusion organisation ProEmpresa and its end-clients in Lima’s suburbs. Marion Wedegärtner from Oikocredit’s West German Support Association shared her impressions of the trip. full story

A new operating model for Oikocredit [interview]

Bart logo image.PNG29 January | 2019 Earlier this year, Oikocredit introduced its updated strategy. Bart van Eyk, Oikocredit’s Director of Investments, shares the latest details of our updated strategy and explains how changes to our regional setup will help us to better serve our partners with the aim of creating an even stronger social impact. full story

Preserving the future of cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

ECOO-CI-18.jpg28 January | 2019 Nearly half of the world’s chocolate supply is grown in Côte d’Ivoire1, where more than a million smallholder farmers depend on cocoa production for their livelihoods. Cocoa is also vital to the ... full story

Meet our Supervisory Board members  

27 August | 2018 Eltjo Kok (the Netherlands) was elected to Oikocredit’s Supervisory Board at the cooperative’s annual general meeting in Chennai, India. “I was very honoured to be elected to the Supervisory Board... full story

Transforming tea estates and impacting lives in northern India [part 1]

AMBO-IN-23.jpg06 July | 2017 Deep in the northern mountains of India, lies Darjeeling, a region known for producing the best designated teas. What makes that perfect cup of steaming Darjeeling possible, are the thousands of people working on tea estates. full story

Transforming tea estates and impacting lives in northern India [part 2]

AMBO-IN-15.jpg06 July | 2017 Oikocredit’s investment enabled Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Private Limited (DOTEPL) to buy three tea estates in Darjeeling, northern India; among them are Rangaroon and Pandam. full story

Strengthening People and Planet [interview]

Kawien 1.JPG04 July | 2017 As Oikocredit publishes its Social & Environmental Performance Report for 2016, Kawien Ziedses des Plantes, deputy director of social performance and capacity building, explains some of the thinking behind the organization’s approach to social and environmental performance. full story

Kompanion Bank blends capital and business knowledge to create self-sustainable futures

KOMP-KG-39-cropped.jpg26 April | 2017 Kompanion Bank was established in 2004 to provide loans to small scale farmers, livestock herders and shepherds in Kyrgyzstan. It has been an Oikocredit partner since 2007. However, Kompanion is a bank with a difference because it not only provides micro loans to its clients but also offers them free business development training and technical assistance in order to promote sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. full story

Cooperatives, banking and development economics: Thos Gieskes’ path to Oikocredit

Thos Gieskes V2.jpg03 April | 2017 Today Thos Gieskes joins Oikocredit as our new managing director. With a background in development economics and over 30 years in leadership at a cooperative bank, Thos is excited about the new role with an organization he believes in. full story

Philippines: Lessons learned in disaster preparedness

CB Phillipines.JPG12 January | 2017 To help its partners achieve greater resilience to deal with natural disasters, Oikocredit has been running a Disaster Risk Reduction & Management (DRRM) training programme for nearly three years. This week, Oikocredit investors are visiting partners in the Philippines that have put the DRRM training programme into practice. full story

Letter from our interim managing director

Ging cropped.PNG12 January | 2017 Dear friends, investors and colleagues, A new year has begun. We’ve taken stock of 2016 (our annual results will be announced in March) and turn our focus to what 2017 may bring. We look forward ... full story

The rebuilding and refinancing of Ecuador’s devastated cocoa producers

FORTA-EC-02.jpg19 December | 2016 Last April’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador particularly affected communities living in the coastal area where the fair-trade cocoa growers’ associations Fortaleza del Valle and FONMSOEAM operate. full story

Video featuring support for Rwanda's booming coffee sector

Rwanda coffee film.PNG01 December | 2016 Rusizi Specialty Coffee (RSC) is a coffee export company based in the district of Rusizi, in south-west Rwanda. Rusizi Speciality Coffee works with 2,000 smallholder farmers and three coffee cooperatives to produce high-quality coffee. full story

Improving the lives of people in rural areas through peanut farming

GREEN-KE-07.jpg01 December | 2016 Athanas Matheka, founder and CEO of Greenforest Foods Limited, a Kenyan company that produces honey and nuts, is using peanuts to improve the lives of families in Kenya’s rural areas and to reduce resource-centred conflict. Yes, Peanuts. full story

Supporting local producers of honey and nuts

GREEN-KE-11.jpg03 November | 2016 “The recent expansion of Greenforest’s business in Kenya not only provides direct employment for the staff working in our production facilities, it creates indirect employment for the local farmers and suppliers from whom we source materials,” says Athanas Matheka, founder and CEO of Greenforest Foods Limited. He is in no doubt about the important role his company plays in improving the lives of Kenya’s rural farmers. full story

Oikocredit invests in Honduran solar project

planta-solar-honduras2-(2).png29 March | 2016 In the first quarter of 2016, Oikocredit’s renewable energy team completed an investment of US$ 11 million in Compañía Hondureña de Energía Solar, SA de CV (COHESSA). COHESSA is a solar energy ... full story

Tree plantings mark Oikocredit’s 40th anniversary

Tree planting Kenya hands 150 x 226 .jpg18 November | 2015 Last week trees were planted in the Netherlands, Kenya and India to mark Oikocredit’s 40th anniversary, in ceremonies that were attended by Oikocredit employees from around the globe. The tree ... full story

Wendy Plant: over 30 years of dedicated service

wendy-plant.jpg02 June | 2015 Wendy Plant has been with Oikocredit for over 30 years, making her Oikocredit’s longest standing employee. Initially joining as an administrative staffer after moving to the Netherlands from her ... full story

Oikocredit’s first partner in Latin America

fepp-historic-image-470pixels.jpg27 May | 2015 In Ecuador over 20% of the population live below the national poverty line*. Among the country’s rural population this proportion rises to over 50%**. Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio ... full story

Letter from our managing director

vfc-cambodia-square.jpg24 March | 2015 Dear valued stakeholders, With 2015 well under way, it’s a good time to look back on our achievements in the year that’s passed, as well as look ahead to what this year will bring. At Oikocredit, ... full story

Oikocredit’s first ever loan in India

vellore-medical-college-2015.jpg17 March | 2015 In India, around 300 million of its 1.2 billion inhabitants live below the $1.25 a day poverty line. When Oikocredit began operations 40 years ago, the number was almost the same, with around 320 ... full story

Combatting coffee leaf rust in Latin America

470px-capucas-1675-hn-02.jpg11 December | 2014 Part of Oikocredit’s triple bottom line is supporting partner organizations that not only provide social and financial impacts, but environmental ones as well. One partner that ticks all three ... full story

Letter from our managing director

alide-small.jpg20 March | 2014 Dear valued stakeholders, With 2014 well under way, it’s a good time to look back on our achievements in the year that’s passed. Last year was my first full year with Oikocredit and it was a ... full story

Darjeeling’s environmental estates

ambootia.jpg09 October | 2013 Oikocredit has been working in India since 1978, investing in equity and providing loans to numerous social enterprises throughout the country. Its most recent equity investment is in Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Private Ltd., known by its principal estate, Ambootia. The family owned company, led by Sanjay Bansal, is the second largest tea producer in the Darjeeling region and the largest producer of biodynamic Demeter certified tea in the world. It is renowned for its high social and environmental impacts. full story

Marketing Senegal’s mangoes

mangoes-saveurs-du-sud.jpg09 October | 2013 As part of Oikocredit’s strategic focus on agriculture, Oikocredit invests in several agricultural businesses in Africa, including Senegalese mango processing company, Les Saveurs du Sud SA. Although 75% of Senegal’s population works in the agricultural sector, much of the country’s rural areas remain underserviced in terms of electricity, drinkable water, agricultural equipment and irrigation. full story

A truly Divine partnership

Divine Chocolate09 October | 2013 Oikocredit partner, Divine Chocolate, is a company “owned by cocoa farmers, made for chocolate lovers™”. The chocolate company was started by the cocoa producing cooperative, Kuapa Kokoo, and became a partner of Oikocredit in 2006. Today, Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by cocoa farmers. full story

Kuapa Kokoo launches radio programme

kuapa-kokoo-ghana.jpg26 March | 2013 How do you communicate to 65,000 members, some of whom live deep in the rainforest and can’t read or write? This has been a major challenge over recent years for Kuapa Kokoo, a fair trade partner of Oikocredit in Ghana. full story

Social impacts in Senegal

Senegalpic1.png26 March | 2013 Evaluating social returns can be, at times, less straightforward than assessing financial returns. For Oikocredit, seeing the social benefits of its partners’ work remains a top priority. full story

Keeping a sharp eye on social performance

andrea-dominguez.jpg26 March | 2013 For Oikocredit, social returns are as important as financial returns. To assist our partners and the wider microfinance community in maintaining social practices, Oikocredit has a social performance officer in every region. full story

Mentoring microfinance

Ugandapic2.png22 March | 2013 In 2011, Oikocredit developed a social performance mentoring programme to assist microfinance institutions embed social practices into daily operations. How has the mentoring programme fared and what were some outcomes? full story

Combating the grab for land

0647-dove-bg-09-thumbnail15 October | 2012 After increasing reports of land grabbing in many developing countries, Oikocredit is providing funds for cooperatives to buy their own land. Many cooperatives rent land and therefore are directly threatened by local or international companies and individuals buying significant areas to farm. full story