About the event


This webinar, co-organized with the International Trade Centre (ITC), brings together a panel of representatives from both the supply and demand side of green finance targeting agri-SMEs and farmers’ organizations in the coffee sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The discussion will build on the latest edition of the Coffee Guide that was published by ITC in October, which highlighted the significant disconnect between the financial products available to operators in the sector in connection with mainstream sources of green finance, and the needs of these same operators, notably SMEs. It will further look at positive trends and examples that can be built on or scaled up to improve demand/supply alignment for green finance for small and medium-sized coffee sector operators. This webinar will take place in Spanish with interpretation to English.


Alejandro Escobar, Lead Investment & Operations Officer, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Alejandro is an Agricultural Economist and Systems Analyst by training and has worked for 20 years in agricultural development. He is currently responsible for the portfolio of projects in sustainable agriculture, financing of farmer cooperatives, development of investment vehicles for agricultural finance, and value chain development with small farmers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean at IDB. Prior to this, he worked at Du Pont in the Global Supply Chain group of Tyvek, working in the development of demand planning, financial forecasting tools, operations, and systems training in Europe and the Americas. Earlier in his career, Alejandro was with MEDA and the Sarona Global Investment Funds, based in Bolivia and Peru.

Eduard Walkers, Regional Director LAC, Oikocredit

Eduard is the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at Oikocredit. He has more than 25 years of experience in impact finance, including in the coffee value chain. He is currently responsible for an active loan portfolio of US$ 500 Million and more than 250 partners, including over US$ 50 Million invested in coffee actors. He lives in Lima Peru and holds a Master’s in Business Economics.

Monica Firl, Project Manager of Carbon, Climate and Coffee, Cooperative Coffees

Monika Firl has more than 25 years of experience within the coffee industry. Initially facilitating Farmer-to-Farmer learning exchange in Central America and Mexico, then as Green Coffee Buyer, Producer Relations Manager and Director of Sustainability at Cooperative Coffees. She is now engaged as part of the leadership team with Carbon, Climate and Coffee. This cumulative work has fueled her keen interest in the symbiotic roles between healthy soils, carbon sequestration and reversing climate change.

Javier Aliaga Lordem, Climate Change Coordinator, Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC)

Javier has a PhD in economics and has been working for more than 15 years on climate change, agriculture economics, energy and the environment, in more than 35 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He is currently the climate change specialist at CLAC and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Climate and Environment.

Rodrigo Iglesias, Consultant, Alliances for Action programme, International Trade Centre

Rodrigo is an Agricultural Economist from Chile with 20 years of professional experience, both in the EU and in developing countries, where he acquired a broad and in-depth knowledge of international development cooperation, agribusiness, inclusive value chains, financial innovation, and agricultural and trade policies. Amongst other positions, he served as Programme Manager / Policy Officer at the European Commission/DG DEVCO in the Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition Unit in charge of agribusiness and agri-finance/blending programmes in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Currently he is a Consultant for the International Trade Centre’s sustainable agribusiness Alliances for Action programme, Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the European Commission.

Merling Preza Ramos, General Manager, PRODECOOP

Merling Preza is a Nicaraguan smallholder coffee producer and CEO of PRODECOOP, R.L. Since 1989, she has collaborated with Nicaraguan producing cooperatives in institutional strengthening, funding, training, technical assistance, and commercialization. Since 1993, Merling has accompanied coffee producing cooperatives in their commercialization and positioning in the international market, by targeting the specialties market and defining internal and external strategies. The different representation positions she has held have mainly focused on establishing and defending organized smallholder producers’ interests and adding value to organizations and institutions.

Moderator: Francisco “Frank” Rubio, Interim Senior Coordinator of SAFIN and Senior Technical Advisor for ABC Fund, International Fund for Agricultural Development

Frank is a development expert with 25 years of experience in agricultural finance, microfinance, technical assistance, training, and project management. He currently provides technical support to the ABC Fund and leadership in the growth of IFAD’s private sector portfolio. He recently took on the role of interim Senior Coordinator of the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network. Before this, he held progressively senior positions at the Inter-American Development Bank, Catholic Relief Services, CARE USA, and Oikocredit.

Resource materials
Webinar recording
The Coffee Guide, Fourth Edition


Event Details:

Event dates: Mar 03, 2022, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM GMT+1

Location: Webinar

Organizer: SAFIN