According to the World Bank, agriculture and agribusiness in developing countries will grow to be a US$1 trillion industry by 2030. The contribution agriculture has to many developing country’s GDP is significant with some regions’ experiencing a quarter of their economy derived from agriculture and agricultural related activity. Multilateral agencies like the African Development Bank view agriculture as being twice as effective in reducing poverty than any other sector. However, today’s reality is that the average farmer is earning significantly under his/her potential. Furthermore, farmers experience difficulty accessing the necessary finance and markets to help them grow their business. Estimates from the World Bank, for example, demonstrate that they performs at only 40% of its potential and there are billions of investment dollars that are stagnant in unlocked financing. “SCOPEinsight provides a solution to unite all stakeholders and to improve agri-SMEs ability to grow their business including accessing markets and finance. This solution provides benefits to all stakeholders within the agricultural value chain from farmers to traders, multinationals, and development professionals” Juliet Masco, Marketing Manager at SCOPEinsight.
TIAS School for Business and Society
SCOPEinsight provides a common language - through a scoring system - in which all market players can understand where the agri-SME is in terms of their level of professionalism. Their data demonstrates that as farmers become more professional, their profits increase, the quality (and quantity) of their produce increases, and they are better business partners in general.
The SCOPE assessment tools measure some of the most important aspects of professionalism for agribusinesses. “These include Sustainability, Operations and Financial Management to name a few. With this innovation SCOPEinsight has greatly increased market inclusiveness and created more opportunities for professional agribusinesses in emerging markets” says Juliet Masco, Marketing Manager at SCOPEinsight.
SCOPEinsight’s solution help improve several SDGs No Poverty, SDG1. Zero Hunger, SDG5 Gender Equality, SDG8 Decent Work & Economic Growth, SDG10. Reduced Inequalities, Responsible Consumption & Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land and Partnerships for the Goals.
In 2006, Lucas Simons (the founder of SCOPEinsight) traveled to Guatemala as the Director of a large organization focusing on the certification and standard-setting of farmers. The focus of this trip was to celebrate the certification of coffee farmers. After the celebration party, Lucas was walking with the management from the farmer organization back to the compound, in passing the farmer mentioned how happy he was that he was certified but that he still couldn’t get the loan he needed to grow his business. Struck by this comment, Lucas’ celebratory mood quickly changed while he pondered over a way to change this reality.
According to Marise Blom (SCOPEinsight – COO), Lucus has a thought to himself, “If certification doesn’t help better farming organizations get access to markets then what is wrong with the system?”. Lucas spent months talking about this with industry insiders and answers weren’t coming fast enough. However, after watching the financial news, the idea struck him: “What about a kind of rating system to demonstrate the professional reliability of farming organizations?”. He then poured his energy into testing the viability of this idea and founded SCOPEinsight. Together with lenders, data analysts, interns, and anyone else who wanted to pitch in, he developed the SCOPE methodology. But the journey was long as a company based on providing business intelligence, needed to collect enough data to inform market players of the creditworthiness of farming organizations.
Over the years, SCOPEinsight has united various stakeholders in the agricultural sector and has promoted dialogues that would never have taken place if there were no SCOPE scores. For example, the technical assistance that many NGOs provide to farmers helps farmers in the short run but does not necessarily provide the information necessary for financial institutions to make investment decisions. This reality creates dependency on NGOs (and donor support) and doesn’t help the farmer scale up nor does it help stimulate the economy in the way that is optimized.
“Our assessment tools help our partners to have a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the farmer organisation and to know where to channel their support. The training and coaching for this organization on those weak areas will be more targeted compared to what usually happens where training is given on a general note rather than focused on weaknesses” Marise Blom (SCOPEinsight - COO).
Collaboration with Key Partners
SCOPEinsight initiated Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance (AMEA), which was setup as a foundation together with a few partners like International Finance Corporation (IFC), ABN AMRO and others, where different organisations pull together their knowledge in order to align the business processes of farm organisations and to give directions as to how professional farming should be done, so as to lead farming organisations to a higher level of professionalism. Also, AMEA arranged the development of an international working agreement (IWA), which is a first step towards an ISO standard.
For scale, SCOPEinsight plans to grow its database organically and also connect with more corporates (traders, agro-processors) all around the world that need its assessments. Farmer organisations that have benefited indirectly from the assessments of SCOPEinsight are now empowered to scale up either through the improved way their organisation is run or through the funding and partnership they get indirectly through the work of SCOPEinsight , this is the testimony of its clients over the past 10 years.
In 10 years, SCOPEinsight has reached over 9.2 million farmers across 41 countries and has worked in 19 agricultural sectors. They have trained 768 assessors and completed nearly 4,0000 assessments with many development partners, some of which include Cargill, ICCO, Fairtrade Africa, AGRA, IFC, Farm Africa and Heineken.
Today, SCOPEinsight has conducted thousands of assessments with frontrunners like the IFC, Cargill, Rikolto, NCBA Clusa and CNFA, and over 30 development partners. With hundreds of thousands of data points, the data SCOPEinsight provides increased transparency in the agricultural sector, lowers investment risks, and increases business opportunities for stakeholders in and around the agricultural value chain. SCOPEinsight has been able serve over 9.2 million farmers in 41 countries.
Marise Blom, Chief Operating Officer
Juliet Masco, Marketing Manager
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Utrecht, Utrecht, NL
Business Website: https://scopeinsight.com/
Year Founded: 2010
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
SCOPEinsight approaches farming as a business, its tools help in the professionalization of farmers. SCOPEinsight ensures that the stakeholders in the agri-value chain are better equipped to help improve the professionalism of farmers so that in the end they can scale up and help there families and communities in the long run.