In the valley of Río Blanco, an hour’s drive from Bogota, smallholder farmers live in poverty. Lack of market access and infrastructure denies them a fair and secure income. 80 percent of its 40,000 inhabitants make no more than $100 a month, less than half the minimum wage. Younger generations are migrating to the city, leaving abandoned and degraded land and the market at the mercy of long and fragile food chains.
Despite Colombia’s extraordinary biodiversity, market forces promote fewer and less nutritious crop varieties that exclude smallholder farmers. Without access to a secure income, farmers are unable to plan for the future. Chemical inputs account for 35 percent of farmers’ costs and 15 percent of emissions, while destroying the soil’s microbial wealth, polluting water sources, and leaving a huge carbon footprint.
Facing competition from industrialized agriculture, the challenges of poor infrastructure, and a lack of access to markets, smallholder farmers in Colombia face the difficult task of securing a sustainable income. Every year, rural poverty increases along with environmental degradation.
BioMio is a subscription-based model that directly links farmer and consumer, guarantees a fair income, and strengthens ecosystems with regenerative agriculture. It also creates local cross-sector synergies between different actors to strengthen the chain from soil to table, applying all principles of a circular economy.
BioMio customers pay a monthly fee for weekly deliveries of organic produce and effectively invest in the land's future crops. With regenerative agriculture, farmers grow quality produce, and with same-day harvest and delivery BioMio ensures satisfied clients. BioMio also offers locally produced high-end artisanal food products, creating a high added-value chain that strengthens local traditions, producers’ income, and consumer loyalty. BioMio is increasing local resilience and efficiency with the creation and new development of a BioBusiness park that houses all the key actors in the production chain.
The current food security plan for Bogota, developed in conjunction with the National Government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, actively promotes the consumption of fresh produce. It also includes laws that will make public sector institutions, such as schools and health centers, buy their fresh produce from smallholder farmers. The target demand for 2030 for fresh produce projects is an increase of 1 million tons. This strategy is based on the health benefits that a better diet prompts for better nutrition, reduction of obesity, and food security.
BioMio’s beachhead market is spending on average USD $90 monthly on fresh produce and specialty products.
Partnerships with BioAgro, Santo Tomas University, Monfort Religious Order, SocioEconomics, Institutional and Development Group (GSEID) - National University of Colombia, and Hash Trust Company.
Expanded locally by partnering with a local recycling waste bank, Bancalimentos, to offer produce in exchange for “BioMio bucks.”
In just nine months, BioMio developed two brand lines with over thirty different artisanal products.
Legal support for patent and trademark registration for locally produced and developed substrate and organic inputs, trademark registration, gratuitous loan agreements, tax status study, and review of limits and permits for artisanal production and sales.
Support to increase production capacity and efficiency while building local capacity towards a more resilient local economy.
Cross-sector alliances with key regional players to expand beyond deliveries and establish a private blockchain, the first of its kind in the region.
Blockchain mentorship to support a proposed cross-sector collaborative regional group.