New business models for sustainable trade

Millions of farmers in Africa depend on export markets for their livelihoods, but small farmers were missing out on this market.

2008 - 2012

While market trends had led to declining small farmer participation, these farmers had the skill and soil to provide the high-quality products sought by the food industry.

What IIED did

This collaborative initiative engaged with research, civil society and private sector partners to develop new business models across a variety of sectors that would enable smallholders to participate in sustainable trading relationships with international businesses and thereby improve their livelihoods.

The project also produced a practical toolkit to help facilitators of market linkage work understand conceptual frameworks, cases and practical processes for linking small scale producers to modern markets.