Sustainability Management Services

Innovative solutions

SMS implements sustainability programmes and provides products and services for rural populations in 26 countries.

We strive to be the premier provider of socially & environmentally responsible and innovative solutions to our farmers.


Fast facts

Farmers in SMS programmes worldwide


ECOM Sustainability projects worldwide


Sustainable raw product equivalent traded in MT


Our services

Flexible solutions

In a world where the needs of farmers continue to change and evolve, SMS is able to address a range of economic, environmental and social challenges with our portfolio of services. We aim to support, strengthen and create economic opportunities for people in agriculture by delivering services like technical assistance and financial inclusion.

Advisory services

SMS implements several models to reach smallholder farmers with training and certification, and to deliver value-added services with the goal of effective management, transparency and accountability to its partners.

In every origin, SMS builds long-lasting capacities and relationships for ongoing farmer training through multi-stakeholder partnerships with development agencies, NGOs, our clients and our banks.

Our Certification & Advisory services allow clients to better understand the certificates they buy and to carry out comprehensive programs customised to farmers’ needs. This transactional approach helps to build enduring relationships with rural communities.

Agro inputs distribution  

SMS supports farmers’ productivity by enabling them to access affordable and high-quality agricultural inputs. Farmers benefit from the expertise of our teams, whose field access and knowledge aid in the sustainable use of a wide array of inputs.

We help build local capacities by integrating agricultural inputs into our credit system, which is adapted to farmers’ cash flow and allows for credit repayment at harvest.

The extensive use of demonstration plots creates the opportunity for training in the use of inputs and the validation of their alignments with certification programs.

The local knowledge of our SMS teams allows for the betterment of local capacities in input use, and strengthens farm productivity to the benefit of farmers and SMS alike. The cross-pollination of ideas and the collection of expertise and experiences increase the distribution network, and are rapidly expanding throughout ECOM’s origins.

Farm management

SMS is leveraging its years of local experience and strong ties with local stakeholders to provide farm management services, tailored to its diverse portfolio of clients.

Our technicians and agronomists provide a complete package of farm management solutions – including weather monitoring, financial and cash flow management and soil analysis – to owners and investors willing to comply with our commitment to sustainability.

Thanks to strong synergies between our portfolio of services and ECOM’s unique network of relationships, we can help manage every step of the crop cycle, from variety selection to quality testing and shipping. Our inclusive management model enables us to tailor our services to our clients’ needs, offering flexibility over the business model. And always with the same dedication toward yielding sustainable value creation.

Farming technology

Working with a network of 700,000+ farmers, SMS is gathering a large number of data points to enrich ECOM’s knowledge of its farmers and help customise the best services possible.

SMS Integrity is a unique platform that acts as both an automatised data collection tool for field staff and a platform from which our clients can access key data about their suppliers. We are able to leverage digital technologies to improve our support of rural communities and to foster transparency from the field to clients’ warehouses.

Thanks to a highly-trained team of surveyors, we are able to collect a wide range of metrics in the most rural areas. A cutting-edge, automated process enable the data to be validated and analysed in near real time, turning mapping, productivity and socio-economic data points into actionable intelligence we can leverage to deliver to farmers and our clients.

This unique, seamless data collection and analysis process has so far enabled SMS to reach out to more than 350,000 coffee and cocoa farmers, thereby illuminating our clients’ supply chains.

Financial inclusion

SMS developed micro-finance programs to provide producers with inclusive, affordable and reliable financial services for the continuous improvement of its sustainability solutions. Such services allow for the availability of capital at the appropriate time, affordability of agricultural inputs, and the building of local capacities and knowledge of financial systems.

Our close-knit, local teams are able to share expertise and build strong relationships with clients, creating the foundation for adaptive credit packages and high recovery rates.

Financial inclusion services cover a wide array of products from in-kind packages of farm inputs for increased productivity to cash loans, savings accounts, and pension & insurance for local financial capacity building.

Our ability to build long-term partnerships creates strong and favourable conditions for guaranteeing transparency and adapting to the clients’ needs, thereby encouraging a sustainable customer life cycle. The dense network of access points animated by SMS also allows for the accessibility of services as well as the support and contextual knowledge required for adaptive product delivery.

Plant technology

SMS is able to provide high-quality planting material, on a large scale, that perfectly suits our clients’ needs and expectations.

To support ECOM farmers from the beginning of the growing process, we have partnered with leading scientific institutions to establish a unique structure to support farmers’ land recovery and provide them with affordable, high-quality seedlings.

In 2004, CIRAD and ECOM began a public-private strategic alliance, giving birth to Agritech, ECOM’s laboratory located in Nicaragua. Subsequently, further partnerships were forged, partnering Agritech to World Coffee Research, the World Cocoa Foundation, CATIE and many other national and international institutions.

With a production capacity recently estimated at 1 million embryos per year, Agritech is one of the world’s biggest labs, capable of supplying clients with productive, disease and climate-resistant varieties, preserving an outstanding cup profile. Its diversified catalog of cocoa and coffee varieties offers an unmatched choice to clients and SMS farmers. We promote a sustainable way to foster farms’ renovations and to mitigate the impact of climate change.

SMS Verified

The SMS Code is a management tool for the diagnosis of sustainability in farms in an integrated way and to provide farmers with omprehensive technical assistance focusing on productivity increase, operative efficiency, production cost reduction and better access to markets. The SMS Code Program is the backbone of ECOM’s Sustainable Management Services strategy. Starting 10 years ago, the Program is today assisting more than 600 000 farmers worldwide and has been used in more than 300 sustainability-related projects. Its effective design goes beyond traditional certification systems, as it incorporates notions of production and quality centered around the continued betterment of farmers’ production through high value-added technical feedback.

Moreover, the SMS Code enables roasters to reach new levels of impact at the farmer-level through the portfolio of SMS services and our big data platform SMS Integrity. The latter grant roasters access to near-live field-data to monitor program progress and pilot their own supply chain impact. 

Our partnerships

SMS understands that sustainable solutions and impact at scale require teamwork.

And we have been fortunate to find meaningful partnerships with like-minded organizations and people, who are committed to improving livelihoods throughout the supply chain. 

Our partners are essential to our growth and success and help us to drive industry-wide change by sharing best practices, pioneering innovations in data collection and helping us better understand the communities in the countries that we operate.

Together, we are able to make breakthroughs that allow these communities to not only grow, but thrive.

Our clients

SMS enables roasters and chocolate makers to bridge the gap between end-customers and farmers by delivering on ECOM clients efforts at field level. Farmers receive comprehensive support including a premium offered by clients on sourcing contracts.

Our program partners

To provide traceability and assurance of good practices, coffee roasters and chocolate makers are increasingly demanding certified products, using independent third-party standards.

Our R&D partners

SMS offers ECOM a unique opportunity to partner with research centers to develop high-quality, farmer-focused technologies to enable greater productivity.

Coffee varieties catalogue

ECOM and the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development (CIRAD) have worked in collaboration since 2004 in a PublicPrivate Partnership. ECOM and CIRAD have made it possible to develop the coffee chain through the creation of new coffee varieties that are better adapted to climate change, 30 to 50% more productive than conventional varieties.