- Think Big Go Small
- New Business Models for Sustainable Trading Relations
- Value Chains and the Poor
- Inclusive Business Models
- Public Interest in Private Labels
- Commodity Exchanges in Africa
Performance Measurement Papers
- A Shared Approach to Performance Measurement: Common indicators and metrics
- Smallholder Performance Measurement: A practitioner's guide
- Assessing the Sustainability of Smallholder Sugarcane Production in Paraguay
- Using the Progress Out of Poverty Index in Agricultural Value Chains: Kenya Tea
Inclusive Value Chain Case Studies
- Indicators of Poverty and Hunger, GMCR
- Juan Francisco Case, COSTCO
- Oxfam Learning Journey to Honduras
Tools and Methods
- Think Big Go Small
From a Food Lab organized field visit in
David Bright, Oxfam Great
Agriculture and Development:
Agriculture remains the best opportunity for the estimated 1.5 to 2 billion people worldwide living in smallholder households to work and trade their way out of poverty. Growth generated by agriculture is up to four times more effective in reducing poverty than growth in other sectors.
‘…Helping the poorest smallholder farmers grow more crops and get them to market is the world’s single most powerful lever for reducing hunger and poverty’
– Bill Gates, World Food Prize speech, 15 October 2009.
For years, the Sustainable Food Lab and its members and partners have worked to better understand smallholder value chains and identify where companies can have the biggest impact on poverty reduction. It is clear that linking smallholders with well-functioning local or global markets plays a critical part in long-term strategies to reduce rural poverty and hunger. At the same time including smallholders in supply chains offers companies a chance secure a stable source of supply, increase brand value, protect their reputation; all while engaging in socially responsible trade and can appeal to the ethical trade market.
But organizations also struggle with the challenges of linking diverse smallholders to formal markets. There are real barriers and risks that must be addressed when linking the worlds of small-scale, diverse producers and global markets.
Most recently, the Food Lab and its partners are co-hosting the Seas of Change initiative with the Centre for Development Innovation at Wageningen, UR. Seas of Change is a long-term applied research, innovation and exchange program that helps business, government, and NGOs tackle operational challenges and share innovative practices. The program focuses on the question of, "What works when scaling inclusive agri-food markets?"
Inclusive Supply Chain Pilot Projects:
To help link these diverse worlds, bring the benefits of market participation to more small-scale producers, and bring more organizations into addressing this challenge, the Food Lab and its members are facilitating market access projects between multinational food companies and small-scale farmers in Central America and Africa. In these projects, members are developing and implementing business model protypes that increase development impact by distributing risks and rewards more evenly across the supply chain, improving the flow of market information, and increasing access to credit and technical assistance. READ MORE
Supply Chain Performance Measurement:
Who are the farmers who grow our coffee, our tea? Our vanilla? And are there risks to the sustainability of their farming systems or the wellbeing of the farming families? Are there risks to the reputations of companies that are buying their products or to the sustainability of their supply? Are things getting better where farmers are being certified, where they are trading with global companies, and where investments are being made to improve access to credit, training, and agricultural inputs?
These questions reflect a growing desire from many stakeholders—companies, donors, lenders, NGOs, standards organizations, and farmer groups—to know more about who the farmers are and how these farming systems are changing over time. This interest is driven by the need for companies to communicate more effectively internally and externally, to be better partners in addressing sustainability challenges, and have greater assurance that trade is having a positive social impact and supporting progress to more sustainable farming practices. To help address this challenge, the Food Lab is stewarding a multi-year initiative to better understand what works when conducting perfomance measurement in smallholder supply chains. This learning initiative consists of a few key ingredients: