Partner organisations

Partner organisations in 2019

Last year Rikolto financially supported 129 organisations in 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, compared to 87 last year. Of these, 52% are farmers’ organisations, compared to 62% last year.

This change reflects our programme strategy: since we want to fix food systems, we also closely work with - and sometimes financially support - local NGOs, commodity platforms, different national and local government institutions, business service providers or research institutes. Moreover, we include investors and social lenders and private companies in our interventions. But our end goal remains the same: our interventions always benefit the farming communities and end consumers.

Constant consultation and dialogue with our multiple stakeholders is part of Rikolto’s DNA. In the next chapter you can read more about how we build partnerships, and an extensive overview of all our stakeholders can be found on our website.

Farmers’ organisations as business organisations

In total we work with 120 farmer organisations, farmer cooperatives or farmer groups. All of them are supported in their business development, but not all of them receive funding. We sometimes only give specific advice or provide trainings. 17 of the farmer organisations we work with are certified 'organic', 10 organisations are Fair Trade certified, 4 are UTZ certified, and 7 Global GAP. 

We support farmer organisations in their business development, so that they are able to market the products of their members in a professional way, leading to stable incomes for farmers and more sustainable food available for consumers. Since 2018 we also keep track of the quantities of our main commodities sold collectively through a farmer organisation, cooperative or another collective action mechanism. Besides the collective sales figures in the table below, farmers may well use part of their produce for own consumption or sell it individually through intermediaries.

Membership of farmers’ organisations

Most of our interventions directly target members of farmers’ organisations. This, in turn, allows us to indicate how many men and women are benefiting per region (see graphs below). Globally, about 65,000 men and 33,000 women received Rikolto’s support in 2019.

In many cases, however, more farmers are involved during collective sales. Moreover, it is an inherent part of our strategy to achieve policy changes within companies, at commodity sector level and in national legislation, and to encourage other organisations and governments to replicate successful experiences on a much larger scale, so that multiple farming families benefit from our interventions.  

In East Africa, we were running a large programme to promote collective selling of surplus food crops, in which very large numbers of farmers are directly involved in 2017 and 2018. This programme came to an end in 2019.

In DRC, two new programmes were launched, which allows us to reach more farmers in two new areas.

In West Africa, farmers have been organising themselves according to commodity for many years, resulting in very large farmers’ organisations. We support those organisations in supplying rice for government institutions (schools, prisons etc.). As these are business actions at national level, a lot of farmers are involved.

In Vietnam, we started working in new provinces after the vegetable farmer organisations in the previous provinces “graduated” last year: they continue their business activities without our support. Moreover, a big part of our programme is directed towards policy work to promote Participatory Guarantee Systems for safe vegetables, instead of directly working with farmer groups. In the rice sector we test new business cases on a smaller scale, but big companies are involved, so lessons learned find a way on a bigger scale.  

There is still a big gender gap when we look at the farmers we directly support via their organisations. Almost three-quarters of the members of farmers’ organisations are men. Especially in the coffee and cocoa sector, traditionally more men are involved. However, in most of our regions we see specific interventions to give more opportunities to women.