There are many paths to fairer trade. Sharing is very effective. Sharing is both a radical departure from the system and good for business. We share turnover, profits and power.
In fair trade, farmers receive a minimum price and their cooperatives receive a premium per kilogramme of raw product. Then, the traders take over. Importers, processors and supermarkets fix the prices and add a margin at every step. In the end, fair trade products are expensive. Yet farmers receive the smallest share of the sales price – not due to anyone acting in bad faith, but because the trading system is simply built that way. In this system, the farmers just supply the raw goods and the rest happens without them.
We’re changing that by considering the supply chain as a whole. The family farmers receive part of the price that our customers pay. The more a product is processed, such as chocolate, the greater their share. So we initially pay the families in accordance with the normal organic pricing, and then we offer them a share of our turnover – 10%. This turns customers, farmers and gebana into a single team working towards a common goal. Customers pay the sales price, the farmers get 10% and gebana brings the two parties together. This sharing-based approach is more efficient than optimising margins at every step. Of course, we can only share what we actually sell. As a result, the entire team, especially the farmers, take an interest in the customers – not just the marketing team at the end of the chain.
When this teamwork generates profits, we share that too: we share it equally among all our employees in the North and in the South, our investors and our customers. The farmers aren’t included, since they have already gotten their share. We share our profits with our customers as well in the form of coupons, preferential pricing and special customer programs about which you’ll soon be able to learn more.
We’re currently implementing our new trading system step-by-step. You can learn more about how our first experience in Burkina Faso by reading our report "gebana money nana".
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Smallholders and local producers harvest and refine products of extraordinary quality worldwide. But for many of these producers there is no adequate or stable market. You can buy directly from these producers via the Access to Market Platform and help them to participate in the market. The principle behind this is crowd ordering – a new trade model whereby a number of consumers order a product together so as to achieve a minimum order quantity. We at gebana support the producers with our know-how, and organise the logistics.
Enable someone to make their first export with your order. Please note: Unexpected events often lead to delays, and you may find that the quality is not yet perfect. For this reason, your feedback is absolutely essential. The export experience and your feedback are important steps for the producers towards accessing the market. As a customer, you are witness to the whole process, playing your part in pioneering work.
You can order from these producers simply and directly. You receive your product as soon as the minimum order quantity has been reached and the products are ready. The risk for you is minimal, since the producers already have a product that is ready for market. This sales channel is beneficial to both the producers and the consumers, since it cuts out the middle man.
Be part of the development of supply chains and support innovation! Some of the ways you can do this include testing new products, giving feedback, or financially supporting the producers in their next steps. In doing so, you will be able to see for yourself how the products and supply chains develop.
This is where you can see all the completed projects on the Access to Market Platform at a glance. You can find out where products are now available from or whether the producers are still seeking a trade partner.