Think Big. Go Small.

Food and beverage companies are facing a rapidly changing world. Consumers everywhere are growing more knowledgeable and concerned about the ethics of where and how their food and drink are produced.  At the same time, development organizations are increasingly seeing the critical role of the private sector in creating sustainable economic opportunities for small scale farmers.  Two-thirds of the worlds rural households – many of whom live in poverty – depend on smallholder agriculture for their food and incomes.

This briefing paper lays out the case for companies and development organizations to partner together to create more supply chains that are inclusive of smallholders. The paper further lays out principles and strategies for increasing the impact on development by adapting supply chain business models to the needs and context of smallholders and by public co-investment in farmers, farmer organizations, and needed infrastructure.

This paper is a New Business Model for Sustainable Trading Relationships publication and written for Oxfam’s briefing for business series.

Authors: David Bright (Oxfam GB), Don Seville (Sustainable Food Lab) and Lea Borkenhagen (Oxfam GB).  May 2010

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