Press Releases

• August 17, 2010 - Novelle Consulting Launches New Website
• August 16, 2010 - Erich Hinrichs and John Musser Join Novelle Consulting
• August 1, 2006 - Novelle Principal Awarded Presidential Volunteer Service Award
• December 20, 2005- Sonora State, Mexico Completes Phase I of Development Plan
• April 26, 2005 - PMA Addresses Consumption, Industry Trends with Retailers, Growers in Mexico
• April 18, 2005 - Novelle Assists State of Sonora in Five Year Plan
• June 3, 2004 - BC Hot House Chairman Al Vangelos Elected Russian Farm Project's Chairman of the Board

Novelle in the media

• April 22, 2009, The Packer - Vangelos named Produce Man for All Seasons
• April 10, 2006, The Produce News - Novelle Takes on Winogrond and Obregon as Two Senior Principals
• April 6, 2006, FreshPlaza - Novelle Adds Two New Senior Principals; Obregon and Winogrond
• July, 2005, Productores de Hortalizas - Agronegocios en Sonora
• May 1, 2005, The Produce News - Symposium Shines Spotlight on Sonora Agriculture

on the move

Novelle and Food Safety in Southeast Asia
Novelle and the Gates Foundation
Novelle and the World Bank in Malaysia
Novelle in Southern Sudan
Novelle in Georgia
Novelle in Indonesia
Novelle in Egypt
Novelle in Guatemala
Novelle in Central America
Novelle Consulting in Zambia
Novelle Consulting in the Balkans
Novelle's Indonesian Assignment
Novelle in Southern Africa
Novelle in former Soviet Union
Novelle and Work in Colombia
Bananas in Bangladesh
Vegetables in Moldova
Packing Plant in Moldova
Quality Control in Moldova

white papers

Fairtrade
Novelle Consulting and EUREPGAP
Moscow Supermarket Industry
The 5-Year Agricultural Business Development Plan for Sonora, Mexico
Marketing of Horticultural Produce in Asia-From Sonora Symposium

News


Novelle Consulting in Central America 

The thousands of hard-working people that staff the international donor agencies seem to come from a generally similar background. If they are Americans, a large percentage of them spent time in the Peace Corps, and that experience solidified their desire to work in Third World countries, doing their best in the struggles against poverty and hunger. This is just as true for Europeans, who have opportunities in similar agencies. A striking number of these folks began as missionaries for their respective religious organizations, and simply decided to remain in the tropical world and continue in a similar form of occupation.

What is nearly always missing is a business background, with a sense of commercial economics or the normal processes involved in a supply chain. The result is that some percentage of the tens of billions of dollars committed internationally each year becomes wasted, due to the lack of application of basic business principals. In order to address this situation, Winrock International, a large donor agency which has active programs in at least 40 countries, recently asked Novelle principal Henry Winogrond to go to Nicaragua, to assess the economic achievements of their project there, and to make selling and marketing recommendations for the products in which they had been working.

Winrock had been working in Nicaragua for four years when Mr. Winogrond arrived there, and had made some remarkable progress in various product lines. With a staff of two senior agronomists and 10-15 junior staff members, they had worked in several regions of the country, and had generally been able to economically increase production rates and returns to the farmers. However, there were no coherent marketing plans, nor was there a clear analysis made of the economic gains achieved. The following were the results of the trip and the recommendations made for the various products:

  • Cacao – In an area in the central part of the country, ideal for cacao, Winrock initiated a program for small farmers to plant cacao. After a few years, when the initial harvests were ready, Winrock donated the funds for a small cacao dryer. The problem that they were facing was that no work had been done on marketing. A cacao exporter was located in Managua that had been making regular shipments to Germany, and he agreed to establish a joint marketing venture with the Winrock farmers. This project represented a $750,000 Life of Project ( LOP ) investment, and they were able to increase the farmers’ incomes by over 500% per hectare, and were beginning to earn over $150,000/year in foreign exchange for the country.
  • Cardamom – Cardamom is grown under exactly the same conditions as coffee, and was therefore an ideal candidate for the coffee farmers that had been suffering under the very low world prices. The Winrock program had managed to establish 100 Manzanas ( 70 Hectares ) of cardamom, but again had no marketing outlets. Guatemala has become the world’s largest exporter of cardamom, and an exporting company was located in Guatemala City that agreed to initiate a joint marketing arrangement with the Nicaragua growers. This project represented a LOP investment of $130,000, and had increased the farmer’s incomes by 500-1,000%, depending upon selling prices. In addition, the project would soon be earning $250,000/year in foreign exchange for the country.
  • Produce – Nicaragua is a very dry country, with little irrigation available. The Winrock program made small, inexpensive irrigation kits available to small farmers near Juigalpa. These kits cost $80.00 each, and could cover 400 Sq. Meters. In addition, they made certified seed available, and established a program with a local agricultural university that had aspiring agronomists visit the farms on a regular basis. By selling these products together, and by being able to get 3.5 crops a year instead of only 1-2, the farmers’ incomes increased by 175-230%, and the gross income over the 200+ Manzanas ( 140+Hectares ) covered rose by nearly $500,000/year. This was all achieved on a LOP investment of just over $100,000. Plans were left behind for new marketing programs that would extend the sales to Managua and the supermarket system.
  • Coffee – As this is a principal product of Nicaragua, and was in particularly bad condition due to low world prices, this product received the most attention, and had a LOP investment of over $2,000,000. The agronomists covered over 11,000 Manzanas, and through improved agricultural practices, were able to increase the productivity by more than 20%. This meant an increase in farmer’s earnings of 23%/Manzana, and more than $800,000 in incremental foreign exchange for the country. However, a greater opportunity could be found by moving to specialty coffees, and Mr. Winogrond left behind plans for moving the farmers in this direction, in addition to putting them in contact with specialty coffee buyers in the U.S.