2013 Annual Report
CNFA is changing the lives of rural households all over the world by helping them access the necessary tools and skills to improve their food security and incomes. In 2013, we helped pastoralists in Kenya access Sharia-compliant financing as a result of the creation of the Community Owned Financial Institution, a first of its kind specializing in livestock production. In Ukraine, CNFA provided voluntary technical assistance through the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program to increase the sales and net incomes for both dairy and crop production companies. More than $11 million in sales were generated by Egyptian olive farmers and processors as beneficiaries of our Zaytun Project. Women, like Abonesh Gulema, improved their business operations from attending a woman-focused entrepreneurship and leadership training as part of CNFA’s approach to bolster dairy production in Ethiopia. While our work is creating sustainable change for the lives of smallholder farmers and pastoralists, change is also happening at CNFA.
In 1985, CNFA was created to engage in the conversation of how the U.S. could improve global economic growth through agricultural programs in the developing world. Since its inception, two individuals have been integral in shaping the mission and guiding principles of CNFA: John H. Costello and John R. Block. Under the forward-thinking leadership of Mr. Costello, CNFA applied a market-driven approach to enhance food security and nutrition in emerging economies by leveraging the private sector to build enterprise-based agriculture systems. One of the first initiatives included the establishment of the Citizens Network Agribusiness Alliance (CNAA). Mr. Block helped spearhead this incredibly successful coalition of more than 220 U.S. food companies, agribusinesses, farm bureaus, banks, trade associations and universities eager to foster growth and build markets for U.S. agricultural products and goods. The CNAA worked in the former Soviet Union and Latin America to engineer innovative partnerships and advise lawmakers on both agricultural and trade policies. Building public-private partnerships is part of CNFA’s DNA in large part due to the vision and guidance of Mr. Costello and Mr. Block.
In 2014, both Mr. Costello and Mr. Block will step down from senior leadership roles. Mr. Block will resign after serving eight years as Chairman of CNFA’s Board of Directors and will remain on the CNFA Board. Mr. Costello will retire after dedicating 29 years of service to CNFA as its President and CEO and will also remain a Board member. While these two visionaries may be scaling back their direct responsibilities, their impact will continue to thrive under the leadership of Mr. Sylvain Roy, CNFA’s new President and CEO.
With more than 25 years of experience in managing international development programs, Mr. Roy joined CNFA in 2009 as Executive Vice President of Programs, overseeing a project portfolio initially valued at $75 million. As part of the executive team, CNFA’s project portfolio expanded to $150 million with programs in Africa, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. With Mr. Roy’s significant experience, coupled with his expertise in a large range of livestock and agricultural value chains, and a talented team the Board of Directors is confident that CNFA will continue to grow, empower rural farmers and implement life-changing programs.
Chairman, Board of Directors