After several weeks of meetings, we finally had some time to compile our thoughts and develop a rough draft for our strategic plan. Creating an initial outline helped us realize which statistics will be required to test our hypotheses, and helped guide our meeting agenda for the coming weeks.

The next few weeks will be focused on obtaining more statistics, analyzing data, and meeting with more organizations (mostly financial institutions) to finalize our recommendations. A meeting with a local development bank revealed that a previous initiative to increase lines of credit to farmers was very unsuccessful. While some programs do exist to promote loans to the coffee sector, their adoption has been scarce due to a lack of qualified farmers (most are already heavily indebted and can’t open new lines of credit). This is a unique aspect of El Salvador’s coffee industry that will need to be incorporated into any financing schemes.

After studying coffee for many weeks, we finally found a coffee shop that carries farm/variety specific beans from El Salvador. Reading about coffee and seeing it grow is one thing, but tasting the fruits of the labor has helped me develop an even stronger appreciation for the high quality beans that El Salvador produces. In addition to having great coffee, the baristas at the coffee shop were no strangers to making latté art, such as the dragon shown below.

The Volunteer

Scott Argyres

Associate, FBG-Fund Statistics

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All Asset All Access

All Asset All Access, March 2017

Chris Brightman, chief investment officer of Research Affiliates, discusses the application of business-cycle models to investing; Michele Mazzoleni, head of macroeconomic research, assesses inflation potential under President Trump; and Rob Arnott, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, dissects conventional wisdom. As always, their insights are in the context of the PIMCO All Asset funds.