New business models for sustainable trade


Millions of farmers in Africa depend on export markets for their livelihoods. But recent market trends have led to declining small farmer participation. Yet, these farmers have the skill and soil to provide the high-quality products the food industry seeks. This collaborative initiative engaged with research, civil society and private sector partners to develop new business models across a variety of sectors that enable smallholders to participate in sustainable trading relationships with international businesses and thereby improve their livelihoods.


Additional resources

The project has also produced a practical toolkit, "Linking Smallholders: A guide on inclusive business models", to help facilitators of market linkage work understand conceptual frameworks, cases, and practical processes for linking small scale producers to modern markets. Powerpoint presentation:  English version [PDF] Spanish version [PDF]

Public Interest in Private Label. How New Relationships Between NGOs and Retailers Can Help Build Trade to Benefit the Developing World's Small Scale Farmers,  Sustainable Food Laboratory

Think Big Go Small. Adapting Business Models to incorporate smallholders into the supply chain, Oxfam Briefing Paper

Links to associated blog posts published by The Guardian

How markets can bloom for Africa's smallholder farmers

New cocoa business model catching on

Quality control helps Ghana's fine cocoa producers go global

IIED press release - New business models can spell success for African farmers

Asda press release - Asda’s bouquets flourish with the Rainforest Alliance Certified TM seal


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation