If you are eager to strengthen your farmers’ organisation as a well-run business entity and want to have better access to markets and finance, or are seeking to engage the next generation of farmers, consider partnering with Rikolto (formerly VECO). Let’s start a dialogue to get to know who you are, so that together we can create a tailored plan to address your specific needs. Our experienced, professional staff can offer you in-depth local and international industry knowledge, strong assessment and business tools, and customised training, ranging from finance, marketing and business model development to technical assistance and strategic coaching advice. Rikolto has a strong track record in developing partnerships between producers’ organisations, wholesalers, banks and other stakeholders in the value chain. As a well-structured and entrepreneurial farmers’ organisation, you will also benefit from a stronger voice and participation in local, national and international industry networks. This will set you apart for potential financial and business partners. Through a Rikolto partnership, your members will acquire the knowledge and the means to seize new business opportunities.
What we can offer
Rikolto contributes to a more professional agribusiness to achieve systemic change. Here's what we can offer to farmer's organisations, financial institutions and food value chain actors.
What we can offer farmers’ organisations
- Rikolto initiated the revival of Eastern Congo’s Arabica coffee sector in a war-torn region. We organised 4,800 coffee farmers into four cooperatives, which then launched 82 micro-washing stations with the support of Rikolto. Coffee production increased, the farmers’ income doubled or tripled over 18 months and pricing practices shifted from being at the mercy of illicit buyers to negotiating with international specialty coffee buyers.
- Rikolto partnered with farmers’ organisation CACAONICA to revitalise cocoa production and foster sustainable farming practices. With advisory support from Rikolto, local cocoa production has increased by 20%, and a transparent and long-term partnership with Ritter Sport has been developed. The cocoa trader has even incorporated inclusive sourcing policies into its business model.
- Rikolto assisted Feproba to develop a rice sovereignty strategy for Senegal’s Anambé region, based on the propagation of quality rice seedlings. The 2,268 male and 1,375 female rice producers belonging to Feproba no longer sell only rice, but also their surplus rice seedlings. This results in a more diversified income, as well as increased local rice production.
- Rikolto assisted farmers’ organisations PANGOA and SATIPO, in the Junin region of Peru, to develop information systems for integrated management of the organisations. These systems comprise interrelated clusters that allow the organisations to generate updated reports for informed decision-making. To contribute to the sustainability of this process and the organisations, young members are actively trained to use the data generated by the system to prepare management reports, fostering the negotiating ability of these farmers’ organisations, for the benefit of 1,200 producers.
What we can offer financial institutions
If you are seeking to invest in smallholder farmers’ organisations, consider partnering with Rikolto. With a 40-year track record of working directly with smallholder farmers’ organisations across three continents, we can provide access to and understanding of bankable producers’ organisations. We scan potential candidates for investment through expert field visits and detailed assessment reports that contain benchmark information with similar sectors, regions and industries. Our regional staff are trained in the use of SCOPEinsight tools, tailored to meet the highest banking standards and transparency requirements, and assess the performance of producers’ organisations. Our expertise and tools shorten your due diligence process and reduce costs. The SCOPEinsight profiles we provide meet up to 85% of your information needs. They can help you to assess and identify bankable opportunities and expand your pipeline quickly and cost-effectively. To mitigate risk, we provide post-deal technical assistance. Our customised hands-on capacity-building support can range from financial management and strategic planning to marketing and communication. If you value “boots-in-the-field” knowledge, consider Rikolto as a service provider.
- As of August 2016, 115 farmers’ organisations that partner with Rikolto have been assessed, using the SCOPE Pro or SCOPE Basic tools. The assessments offer comprehensive insights into the business performance of these organisations. A dashboard provides an accessible analysis and benchmarks the results to target capacity building on the lowest-scoring aspects.
- In Flores, Indonesia, Rikolto brokered a Memorandum of Understanding between the bank of the province of East Nusa Tenggara and several local stakeholders in the coffee value chain. The Memorandum was a business milestone for the coffee farmers’ organisations of Flores. For the first time, repayment of credit was linked with the coffee harvest. They also gained many other capital, market information, technology and fair-pricing advantages.
- The largest union of coffee cooperatives in Burundi opened its own processing plant, made possible with funding from Kampani, a new social impact investment fund. Rikolto co-initiated the new Belgian fund, which focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship in agriculture. Alterfin carried out the due diligence. Rikolto is also co-founder and shareholder of Alterfin, an investor in micro-finance and producers’ organisations.
What we can offer food value chain actors
If you are seeking to make your supply chain future-proof and sustainable, connect with Rikolto. We specialise in customising sourcing policies and practices that directly link you to professional and reliable smallholder producers’ organisations. We help to segment and track the performance of your suppliers for better risk management. We develop innovative processes to foster trust and transparency throughout the value chain that go beyond certification. We pride ourselves on our ability to strengthen the capacity of producers’ organisations to reliably respond to market demand. We partner with research institutions and commercial entities to collaborate on the most effective and innovative value chain measuring instruments and methods for smallholder farmers, such as the Inclusive Business Scan, LINK methodology and SCOPEinsight assessment tools. Making connections is at the heart of our work. Consider Rikolto as your trusted advisor when seeking partnerships with other value chain actors, especially producers’ organisations.
- With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rikolto created the Inclusive Business Scan, a method based on Sensemaker® and designed to reveal crucial insights into the inclusion of smallholders in agricultural value chains. Rikolto collected large-scale micro-narratives from over 2,000 smallholders, interpreted by the respondents themselves, thereby reducing researcher interpretation bias.
- In Honduras and Nicaragua, supermarket giants such as Walmart and La Colonia are assured a stable supply of high-quality vegetables, produced according to Good Agricultural Practices. Twelve local farmers’ organisations now operate with much greater business acumen in their negotiations, thanks to Rikolto’s support in strengthening collective marketing and sales practices. We have used the LINK methodology, which enables chain actors to understand the challenges faced from the other person’s perspective and to work towards a more efficient, inclusive and competitive chain.
- The Belgian retail group Colruyt Group approached Rikolto 12 years ago to jointly improve sustainability in its value chains. Over the course of this long-term collaborative partnership, we have improved the sustainability of several value chain products (including passion fruit, asparagus, rice and bananas), with the aim of applying the lessons learned to make the retailer’s overall sourcing policy more sustainable.
- In Indonesia, 7,500 farmers benefit from a novel inclusive business model with MARS, brokered and co-created by Rikolto. In 2014, MARS agreed to train the farmers in product certification and quality assurance, facilitate their access to credit and pay a premium upfront for their pre-certified cocoa beans. Within six months, the farmers obtained Rainforest Alliance certification. MARS is replicating this inclusive business model with many other cocoa-producing organisations in other countries.