Helping 800 producers feed 130,000 consumers
In Benin, weak promotion of local products, strong competition from imported products and the rapid growth of cities have altered demand for food. Urban consumers want high-quality products that are well presented and that cost about the same as imported products. Smallholder organisations are therefore looking for help to gain recognition and increase their negotiating power in dealings with buyers, particularly institutional buyers. Acting for Life works with producers and processors of fruits and vegetables to help them improve their professional skills, from production to marketing, so that they can gain access to new urban outlets and increase their market share.
This innovative project was launched because Acting for Life and Servair (catering company serving airlines and organisations, with operations in France and Africa) both wanted to help smallholder families gain access to new markets. Acting for Life identified a group of producers in southern Benin called AMAP Bénin (smallholder-farming association), which produces and sells fruits, vegetables and juices that are certified as PGS organic (participatory guarantee system: quality assurance certified by local producers and consumers). To support the smallholder families of AMAP Bénin, AFL is helping create a sustainable partnership between the producer organisation and Servair Bénin, which supplies meals to a large catering network in the capital city.
In Benin and elsewhere in West Africa, Acting for Life aims to stimulate orders placed by public and private institutions for local foods in order to improve living conditions for smallholder families.
- boost production and guarantee the availability of AMAP Bénin products thanks to new agricultural equipment and training in agroecological production and in food-safety standards;
- improve the AMAP producers’ ability to negotiate and enter into contracts in order to boost their income;
- get buyers to order organic and local products in order to ensure fair and sustainable commercial outlets for producers;
- promote healthy, local foods in urban areas through events, such as “organic apéros” in Cotonou.
Key figures and results
- The fruits and vegetables supply chain in Benin has become more professional, and new sustainable jobs have been created;
- At least six tonnes of fruits and vegetables are sold each week through short supply chains, and the AMAP’s revenue has doubled;
- The AMAP is able to meet Servair’s specifications and is entering into contracts with new buyers;
- Urban consumers have better access to organic, local and healthy foods.
Video about the project: