Amazing story of success – A great example of a Social Business
There are so few success stories told about Haiti, that I decided this story needs to be told:
Jeremie Breadfruit Flour and Nursery has been working in the community of Doudouch for several years now. Doudouch is about an hour drive from Jeremie over impossible roads. Trees That Feed Foundation has supported the flour production as well as the nursery, but JBFN (Jeremie Breadfruit Flour and Nursery) is spreading its wings, and is beginning to rely more and more on its own marketing and efforts.
What has helped this effort is the cooperative that has been formed through the initiative of Pierre-Moise LOUIS, the founder and owner of JBFN. The cooperative consists of 50 members, mostly women. As a true social business JBFN purchases breadfruit seeds as well as breadfruit from the small farmers in the cooperative. This income allows the small farmers to send their kids to school, and have some income for themselves. JBFN has trained the members of the community so that they know how to pick and harvest the breadfruit.
Members of the cooperative also volunteer in the JBFN nursery to plant and prepare the plastic sacks for the seedlings. They are true volunteers, because they do not receive any money for this, except something to drink and some bread.
The bread comes from the newest venture of JBFN, which is the bakery, which produces bread as well as konparets. The members of the cooperative form a sales force and sell bread and konparets are wide. Also many people from the surrounding area come to the bakery to buy bread, in other words word has spread that bread is fresh and available at our bakery. The bread is made with a mixture of breadfruit flour and regular flour.
JBFN has set up a credit program for members of the cooperative. Through this program, they can buy bread or konparets in the bakery to sell. After the sale, the members keep all the profits and then pay wit the debt. The profit obtained is around 20% of the amount of the debt.
After a sale of seeds, regardless of the amount of money, the member gives 5% to form a fund for the cooperative. The fund is there to contribute to the internal activities of the cooperative.
All members of the cooperative are enrolled in the cooking school program that JBFN has set up. After the training sessions, participants will be responsible for buying breadfruit flour to prepare edible products for schoolchildren and other individuals.
The members of the cooperative see the JBFN business as beneficial to them and the community. They have a stake in the development of the business, and therefore it is truly a social business. It now employs 5 people full time (job creation), and many more on a temporary basis as needed.
Success stories are rare in Haiti, so I wanted to share with you all this amazing story of success, thanks to the support of many, especially to the Trees That Feed Foundation, but also to the hard work of Agr. Pierre-Moise LOUIS as well as all of the members of the cooperative.