This year has been dedicated to scaling up our impact by delivering innovative new projects and growing sales. At the start of the year, we kicked-off our most ambitious project to date; working with seven producer organisations across four East African countries (DRC, Malawi, Rwanda, and Uganda) to reach 25,000 coffee farmers. The five-year, £2.3m initiative funded by Comic Relief takes a holistic approach to cooperative development and provides a major boost to our work on gender justice in the region.
In cocoa, we have worked to diversify our strategy, expanding into Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria in partnership with the International Cocoa Organization and the French Development Agency (AFD) to support producers in managing the risks associated with cocoa trading. We have also developed a new value chain in Uganda to extend the impact of our work with Divine Chocolate, while continuing support for Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana.
This year also saw the launch of a second DFID Global Poverty Action Fund project on peanut value chains in Malawi. The project builds on our groundbreaking work in the country raising awareness and developing market-led solutions to aflatoxin contamination – a toxin that causes devastating health impacts and acts as a major barrier to export for smallholders.
Finally, we have deepened our engagement with the food industry, partnering with major household names to mainstream our impact. In Peru, we are working with Pret A Manger to train up the next generation of coffee producers, and with M&S to tackle water shortages on coffee farms. We’re also working with Sainsbury’s in Uganda to boost environmental standards and help the Gumutindo coffee cooperative achieve triple certification – Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and organic.