How we work

We facilitate inclusive business relationships through a sustainable food systems approach

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Food systems are extremely complex. They encompass all the actors involved in the production, processing, distribution and consumption of our food, and are influenced by a myriad of factors. To understand the interactions within the system, to evaluate the potential impact of our interventions and to successfully manage trade-offs, we adopt a sustainable food system approach.

Embracing a sustainable food systems approach

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We combine activities targeting short-term needs with long-term investments and we develop and pilot innovative and scalable practices, joining forces with a broad network of partners from different backgrounds, sectors and territories. Next, we share the evidence we have gathered through strategic networks to promote scaling of our practices and to influence the international political agenda in favour of sustainable and inclusive food systems.

Three spheres of action

Sustainable production, inclusive markets and an enabling environment

Sustainable production, focusing on practices that diversify income sources for smallholder farmers and bolster resilience to climate change.

Inclusive markets, catering to smallholder producers and urban consumers. To help develop such markets, we professionalise farmer organisations, facilitate their access to finance and business development services, promote inclusive business relations in food chains and facilitate sustainable entrepreneurship.

Enabling environments, in which we give producers, governments, civil society, companies and others the tools to enter national and regional multi-stakeholder platforms to shape policy agendas.

Three global programmes

We prioritise key social and environmental issues

The food system is impacted by the inter-related challenges of climate change and inequality. Joining forces with different stakeholders is crucial to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our times.

Explore the critical challenges we tackle

Inclusive business at the core

When we talk about inclusive business, we mean serious business

To sustain healthier and more sustainable food systems in the long run, we need to provide incentives and/or compensations for all actors to change their behaviour. Creating these incentives is at the heart of our strategy.

Picture of Josephine Ecklu

It’s all about doing business with a long-term outlook, fulfilling the needs of farmers and buyers alike. With this kind of forward-looking strategy, they can plan ahead more carefully, resulting in stronger businesses.

Josephine Ecklu

Inclusive business coordinator

Following the LINK methodology, inclusive business relationships show in:

  1. cooperation between the all actors in the chain with a common goal;
  2. new relations between all chain actors, leading to a stable market and constant supply;
  3. a fair and transparent policy (open communication, fair prices, risk sharing)
  4. equal access to credit, technical support in the field, market information, etc.
  5. inclusive innovation (not ‘for’, but ‘with’ farmers);
  6. and measurable results (indicators and concrete tailored monitoring programmes or follow-up plans).

What does Inclusive Business mean to Rikolto? Check what our colleagues around the globe have to say in this video!

Rikolto Global Strategy 2022-2026

Our new strategy charts a path towards sustainable food systems by focusing on interventions that can reshape the roles of multiple food system actors, from the global to local level.

Building on our expertise in creating inclusive business relationships, the strategy sets out our sustainable food system approach for working with diverse partners to strengthen selected commodity sectors - rice, cocoa and coffee - and to address the wider food system challenges of cities.

Read our strategy summary

Meet our Global programme Directors

Catur Utami Dewi

Sustainable Rice | Global director

Charlotte Flechet

Good Food for Cities | Global director

Abdulahi Aliyu

Cocoa and Coffee | Global director