Liga Masiva’s Profitable Business Model “People, Not Commodity Prices”
By Dyanis De Jesus
Issue 10 Winter 2012
“Liga Masiva” loosely translated from Spanish to English means “massive league” and can be described as a diverse group that gathers to form a strong and powerful movement. Emily Kerr selected this assertive name for her venture company, Liga Masiva, back in 2009. Today, her vision of “shopping the farmers market at an international scale” entails connecting small-scale coffee farmers from the Dominican Republic with coffee lovers all over the world. Liga Masiva defines their mission as direct, human-centered and sustainable. Emily explains, “Direct is about relationships. It’s pretty simple, really;
We buy directly from the people that grow the products and then sell them directly to the people that enjoy them”.
Liga Masiva is first and foremost focused around people. Collaborative work with the farms is driven by the farmers, and the produce is driven by consumers. However, sustainability is also a key component of their practices. They start by paying competitive prices to smallholder organic farmers in support of environmentally sound processes such as natural fertilizers for the plantations. They follow these efforts all the way through their packaging that is designed to have the least environmental impact possible.
With people and planet in place, how are they making profit? Liga Masiva has been in the business for almost 3 years, and began with founder Emily investing her own savings of about $7,000. She was inspired to start her company during a student trip to the Dominican Republic where she learned about the coffee farmers, and saw their frustration of barely making a living. Liga Masiva now proudly employs a team of five highly prepared professionals at the core of their operation, and is looking into future opportunities to expand the same model beyond coffee.
The true bottom line for Liga Masiva are the farmers, as stated in their website, “…turns out, the better we all do, the better we all do”. The farmers who partner with Liga Masiva have increased their earnings about 168%. The 12-ounce bag of coffee, which sells for $15, is always packed within an hour of being roasted and shipped the same day. Emily is confident that she is not only enriching the lives of the farmers, but also of her customers, allowing them the chance to taste this vibrant, high quality coffee.
If you would like to taste for yourself, visit their website where you will be able to shop this rich brew, and learn directly from the farmers’ stories about how Liga Masiva coffee is making everyone’s lives richer.