Most Popular Content
Value Chain Analysis: Potatoes in Ethiopia
Value chain analysis is a central tool in agroenterprise development. It determines the most appropriate market and sales channel for the farmers’ product. It identifies critical constraints in the production-to-sales chain, and forms the basis for consolidating the farmers’ relations with the various chain actors. This case study shows how, beginning in 2002, CRS and its partners analyzed the market chain for potatoes in eastern Ethiopia, formulated a plan to increase the volume, frequency of supply and the quality of potatoes produced, and found ways to improve post-harvest handling and linkages to buyers. This case is one in a series that describes how CRS and its partners work with farmer groups and other stakeholders to develop agroenterprises. CRS and its partners created the series to share what they learned from their experience, what new skills were developed, and what team members discovered in reviewing their approaches. The series draws from a range of value chains and across a range of countries; each one focuses on a particular stage in the agroenterprise development process.
Principal Authors: Zemede Abebe and Mesfin Alemayehu, 2009
Innovations for Healthy Value Chains
Transforming value chains is a complex undertaking that begins with understanding the social and environmental contexts in which we are trying to create efficient supply chains for high quality products. The kind of understanding that leads to improvement is greatly enhanced by partnerships that enable us to work beyond our traditional boundaries by bringing together the perspectives of both civil society and business throughout the chain.
These partnerships, in turn, are most effective when we use strategies that enable us to see the system in ways that can reveal both current reality and opportunities to create economic, environmental, and social improvement. New insight allows us to implement improvements in the value chain and learn from that experience, so that we can eventually institutionalize the successful innovations as changes in infrastructure.
This toolkit is a beginning – an introduction to what some companies and NGOs have tried in order to achieve a variety of goals: to address poverty in producer communities, for example, as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters did, or re-build a brand based on third party certification of its product, as Unilever is attempting with its Lipton Tea.
We hope to build on this body of knowledge over time so that what we learn can benefit all of us doing business in an increasingly complex environment.
Editors: Jason Jay MIT Sloan School of Management, Hal Hamilton, Chris Landry, Daniella Malin, Don Seville, Susan Sweitzer, Sustainable Food Lab, Andrew Murphy WWF, May 2008
Fresh Flowers in Kenya
The Role of Ethical Agents
Presented here is a case study of ethical agents which, although supported by development project funds, can offer a commercial model for aligning the business models of smallholders, SME suppliers, and demanding modern retailers. In this project to bring Kenyan smallholder flowers into the supermarkets of the UK and US, two ethical agents intervened at multiple levels of the chain, creating new market opportunities, building capacity of the Kenyan SME aggregator/supplier, negotiating the terms of supply (representing the Kenyan intermediary whilst respecting the demands of the retailer), and enabling some flexibility at the retailer end. The agents also contributed to the development of a more smallholder-friendly environmental standard.
Principal Authors: Abbi Buxton, Bill Vorley, Steve Homer, and William Van Bragt, May 2012
Unilever: building a black soy bean supply chain in Java, Indonesia
This case study provides an example of a company, Unilever, working with smallholder farmers through enterprise development to secure local supplies of raw materials and to build its own brand, while benefiting farmers in terms of improved incomes and a guaranteed market for their produce. The Black Soy Bean Farmers Development Program is still growing. To date it has involved, via the farmer-owned co-operatives, the participation of some 6,600 smallholder farmers, who now grow approximately 25–30 per cent of the black soy beans used to produce Unilever's local Bango brand.
Published by Oxfam GB, May 2009
Exploring the Links Between International Business and Poverty Reduction: A Case Study of Unilever in Indonesia
This case study both shares ground breaking research on the impact business can have on poverty reduction and the story of the rich and challenging partnership between Oxfam GB and Unilever – two organisations with very different aims and perspectives. This research explores to what extent, and how, the wealth generated by the local operating company of a multinational company in a developing country is translated into poverty impacts in one particular country, in this case Indonesia. The research focuses on Unilever Indonesia, the local operating company of Unilever, one of the world’s leading fast-moving consumer-goods (FMCG) companies.
Principal Author: Jason Clay, 2005