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Cafédirect new direct supply chains

Challenge

Enable smallholders to directly access markets.

Problem

Cafédirect has rapidly gained market share, with consumers keen to support sustainable farming in developing countries via the Fairtrade campaign. Smallholders in these countries still rely on intermediaries for critical mass to process and market their produce, reducing their potential income.

Solution

Cafédirect sought to work directly with farmers and create new, more direct sustainable supply chains. Working with São Tomé cocoa farmers it aimed to bring a new range of ethically sourced cocoa to the UK market. With support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the UK Department for International Development, the São Tomé government and local NGOs, it has helped farmers over the past two years to form a co-operative, and learn how to dry and ferment their own cocoa rather than and sell directly to buyers.

Key to success was helping the new co-operative achieve Fairtrade certification, encouraging direct involvement as Cafédirect shareholders and reinvestment of profits to the co-operative.

Benefits

Smallholders’ income increased fivefold
Unique, high-quality product added to range

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