Ecuador: Allpabambu – a family bamboo enterprise
Allpabambu (AB) is a new, small family-run company in northwestern Ecuador that sells bamboo products to local and export markets. It currently mostly exports poles to the USA and its goal is to sell legal and sustainably harvested products for use in construction and agriculture. AB has 55 hectares of bamboo and has facilities for sawing, treating and drying bamboo poles. The main risks identified by AB are insufficient raw materials of the necessary quality for its export product and the uncertain political environment in Ecuador exacerbated by an economic crisis. Having a single main buyer in the USA is also a high risk, as the company has made significant investments to meet this client’s needs. AB perceives its business has suffered due to depressed demand and discouraged investors and is taking steps to increase its access to raw material, including providing technical assistance to producer associations, and is working on alternative products such as charcoal with collaborators to reduce dependence on its main client.