We never work alone

This is the first point of departure in our work. We never work alone, but in partnerships, alliances and networks. To develop supportive strategies to promote sustainable value chains and trade, we need to mobilise expertise, specific knowledge and services of organisations in the North and in the South: producer organisations, NGOs, companies, certifying bodies, governmental institutions, consultants, service providers, financial institutions, development agencies.

 

The logo of TASTE symbolizes this approach. TASTE maintains a wide network both in the North and in the South of different types of organisations. See the section of PARTNERS and LINKS to learn more about our partners, platforms and networks.


We work with integral approaches

The second point of departure has to do with the underlying philosophy in the development of the methodology: an integral business approach, and an integral development approach.

 

TASTE operates with a chain approach, in which it tries to bring together different stakeholders in the chain, from producer, exporter, to importer and retailer. Sustainable development, sustainable trade has to do with real commitment and dialogue between all parties (involving even consumers) and should not just be the responsibility of the producer.

 

In this, empowerment and true participation of producer organisations and their families and communities, is an essential factor. Small producers should not be just subject of supervision by export companies, but be treated as actor with potentialities, and receive the incentive to be able to act as business partner in the chain. Likewise, a gender approach is important, because of the important role of women and also children in small farmer households.

 

Analysis of a certain region, opportunities to cluster activities and mobilise government support, NGOs, microfinance and banking finance etc. are also very important factors. This way competitiveness  becomes an issue of not only a given value chain, but of whole regions with a certain  potential. This potential can be enhanced with a territorial approach and mobilization of farmers, business actors, NGOs, local and national government institutions, to create critical mass around shared goals, and to invest in institutional development for capacity building and the provision of business development services. A territorial approach is also crucial for environmental sustainability (soil conservation, watershed management, biodiversity, recycling of nutrients) and for logistics and infrastructure: good roads and bridges to guarantee access to ports; electricity, water, telecommunications.

 

These are questions that are important to enhance competitiveness of farmers organisations and simultaneously, to promote the vitality of rural communities; and should be starting points for  ambitious support strategies that pursue impact and change.