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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

CIAT/Oxfam Business Briefing Paper Released

A short paper for Oxfam‘s Business Briefing Series, “Think Big. Go Small: Adapting business models to incorporate smallholders into supply chains,” was released today along with collaborative support from Mark here from our very own CIAT Markets for the Poor group.  Below is a brief summary, or you can cut to the chase and find the paper here.

Food and beverage companies are facing a rapidly changing world.  Global demand is rising as the world’s population swells to over 9 billion by 2050. The planet’s ability to meet this demand is threatened by a myriad of factors including declining yields due to climate change, land and soil degradation and the rapid expansion of bio-fuel production that is pitting food needs against fuel needs.  At the same time consumers everywhere are growing more knowledgeable and concerned about the ethics of where and how their food and drink are produced.

How can agribuisiness do more and do better, with less?  The social impact case for developing business models that generate better livelihoods and market access for the 75% of the global poor who get their food and income from farming small plots of land, is overwhelmingly clear.  But communicating the value for for-profit businesses has been less so.

It’s time to shift the message for adopting small scale agriculture away from appeals to empathy or calls for charity.  Environmental and social risk management, development of emerging markets, supply chain sustainability, and access to quality product are driving the most innovative and cutting-edge companies to incorporating small-holders into their supply chains.

Today, a new breifing paper by Oxfam International, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and the Sustainable Food Lab was released, exploring the business case for small-holder supply chains in the private sector, including questions like:

  • What are the benefits for companies sourcing from smallholders?
  • How does sourcing from smallholders contribute to poverty reduction?
  • How have some companies incorporated smallholders into their supply chains?
  • What principles should guide companies to develop a smallholder sourcing programme?

Check out the full briefing here.

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