How can small-scale farmers sustainably connect to the world food supply chain?

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How can small-scale farmers sustainably connect to the world food supply chain?

There are 2.5 billion small-scale farmers worldwide, of whom about 1.4 billion live in absolute poverty. Millions more live near this level. At the same time, the world will need to increase its food supply by an estimated 70% to prevent a food shortage in 2050, and environmental degradation continues to ravage poor communities around the world.

Investing in small-scale farmers in developing countries

There is a clear and profound opportunity to address several of the world’s most pressing issues by investing in small-scale farmers in developing countries. Helping poor, marginalized farmers produce organically and sustainably will help increase improve their livelihoods, protect the environment, and feed more people.

This is exactly Fairtrasa’s mission.

Fairtrasa's Solution

Since 2005, Fairtrasa has pioneered a for-profit business-and-development model that brings marginalized small-scale farmers into the global food supply chain and lifts them out of poverty. Our unique development model gives farmers the training, resources, and direct market access they need to become Organic producers and independent agro-entrepreneurs. Through our integrated supply chain, farmers provide high-quality fruit to Fairtrasa's customer network, receiving fair income for their products, as well as help re-investing in their farms, businesses, and communities. To date, our innovative and award-winning model has impacted over 9,000 direct benficiaries and over 40,000 lives in all, including farmers, their workers, and their families.

Fairtrasa pursues 5 impact goals:

  1. Help small-scale farmers to become more productive and professional
  2. Bring small-scale farmers into the world food supply chain
  3. Improve livelihoods of farmers, workers, their families and their communities.
  4. Improve farmer organizations
  5. Protect the environment

Our staff provides the following types of support to small-scale farmers and farmer organizations:

  • Best-practice agricultural training and support
  • Assistance with developing crops suitable for export
  • Training in organic farming, yield optimization, and quality control
  • Pre-financing and loans
  • Assistance with Organic, Fairtrade, and GlobalGAP certification applications and management
  • Training in cooperative formation and management
  • Assistance with harvest, pooling volume and packing
  • Assistance with post-harvest quality control
  • Assistance with logistics
  • Direct access to international markets
  • Guidance and support in re-investing increased income in their businesses and communities

Our results

Fairtrasa developed its model in Mexico and has replicated it in Peru, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. Key impact statistics include:

- Over 40,000 lives positively impacted, including family members who benefit from improved income
- Over 9,000 direct beneficiaries
- USD 3,000,000 provided to cooperatives through NGO partnerships
- Over USD 1,300,000 in Fairtrade Premiums distributed to cooperatives for business and community development

Our social enterprise has received awards and recognition from the World Economic Forum, the Shcwab Foundation, Ashoka, Endeavor, the abc* Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative, among others.

We Need Your Help

Fairtrasa brings farmers into the global food supply chain and prepares them to succeed independently. This process is very difficult, however, and entails significant costs and agronomical and logistical challenges. It can take anywhere from 1 to 5 years to bring marginalized farmers into the supply chain, where they are ready to begin exporting high-quality fruit and to reinvest their profits in their businesses and communities.

In its first decade-plus, Fairtrasa has covered these high-risk development costs for pre-business-ready farmers by reinveting its own company profits, supplemented by some financing and grants from partners such as Root Capital and Kiva.

However, we are seeking close and long term collaborations with stakeholders along the supply chain and funding to scale our proven model further and help more small-scale farmers worldwide.

Please contact us if you are interested in helping us achieve our mission! Contacting is possible via the platform or

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Frank Schaminée
Frank Schaminée

Graag kom ik op korte termijn in contact met jullie. Wij als Aeres Training Centre International zijn een opleiding/educatieve instelling binnen de groene sector en kunnen praktijk best practice trainingen op locatie en/of in Nederland leveren voor de small scale farmers. We doen dit wereldwijd samen met o.a. economische zaken en ontwikkelingssamenwerking.

21 December 2017 15:50