Worldwide demand for organic and fair trade products is growing. How can smallholders in Asia and Africa access these markets and earn a fair income? In November 2010, practitioners from India, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and other countries gathered in Nepal to learn about the development of organic and fair trade value chains and to expand their networks. They exchanged tools and solutions for practical challenges in the development of pro-poor Organic and Fair trade value chains.
The workshop was facilitated by Helvetas and Lisette van Benthum an Jochem Schneeman of FSAS (Fair and Sustainable Advisory Services). Experienced value chain actors, traders, supporters and certifiers came together. The participants shared their successes such as the organic and fair trade certified cashew from India that reaches European markets through a professional Swiss social enterprise. Another good example was the specialty Philippine sugar that fetches good prices in Manila supermarkets.
Through four real life cases from Kyrgyzstan (cotton), Ethiopia (teff), India (cashew) and Philippines (muscovado sugar), value chain mapping, competitive advantage and marketing planning were discussed, experiences were shared and methods practiced. Participants were very eager to learn practical ways to further develop fair and sustainable value chains. Which interventions are most rewarding? How to strengthen producer organizations and develop internal control systems?!
The business game, facilitated by Pro4s, proved an inspiring learning ground. Participants were running a business confronted with all kinds of real life opportunities and challenges concerning several crucial business processes, such as product development, marketing, production and management. The game lead to fierce discussions between the business-teams about the best solutions.
All experiences and methods introduced and practiced are documented on the OFTVC-wiki. Participants made follow-up plans to continue learning, exploring and building sustainable organic & fair trade value chains.
View pictures here.
SECO (Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs)
ICCO (Dutch Interchurch organization for development cooperation)
Value Chain Supporters from over 10 countries gather for exchange and learning in Nepal.