Around 60 employees in Togo and Burkina Faso pay regular visits to the family farmers who supply us with their mangos, cashews, cocoa or soy. Our business model wouldn't work without these field agents. We spoke to two of them about their day-to-day work and the challenges they encounter.
This year, we have shared our turnover with 587 family farmers in Togo. We were able to increase the amount paid by a whopping 130 percent. We transferred the money to most of the families directly via their mobile phones – an advantage for both sides.
If you want to buy honey produced in Switzerland or Germany, you'll find it at farm shops or delis. But you're unlikely to find it at the supermarket and gebana doesn't carry it either. The reason is simple: local beekeepers don't produce enough to meet the current demand.
Our Brazil nuts come from Coopavam in Brazil. The cooperative provides an income to more than 300 families in the heart of the rainforest. Co-founder Luzirene Coelho Lustosa explains how she helped make the small-scale project a success and thereby protect the forest in a country where deforestation and huge monocultures are everywhere.
Without cocoa, there can be no chocolate. And without the family farmers who grow these crops, there would be no cocoa. Millions of these family farmers live in poverty. Pricing is only part of the problem. Small-scale farming practices also play a significant role.
In January and February 2022, the agricultural technicians from gebana Burkina Faso travelled across the country, paying out 10 percent of our profits from the sale of dried mangoes and cashew nuts to almost 3,000 family farmers. A few of the families told us what they think of these payments and what they plan to do with the money.
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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.