Source It Local
Global Food Prices are rising and access to food supply is becoming increasingly challenging for a large share of the world’s population. This has resulted in economic instability and social unrest in many developing countries similar to the situation that arose during the global food crisis on 2008. Furthermore, food imports are costing those countries substantial sums in foreign exchange in addition to affecting potential supply of raw materials by local partners.
Increasing competition for raw materials, particularly in Asian countries, is pushing companies to look for opportunities to diversify their sourcing base. Already companies are increasingly interested in sourcing from small scale farmers in the Global South. African sourcing areas are also more in the picture when it comes to a diverse range of Agri Businesses, from international commodity traders to local beer brewers and from the consumer food industry to the pharmaceutical industry.
There are many factors behind drive to promote buying from small holders in Africa. Sourcing nearby is more environmentally efficient for the processing industry. Local sourcing implies less transport needs and in turn less CO2 PRODUCTION. Logically this also has economic benefits as it reduces transport costs. Overall the success of local sourcing companies means a reduction in poverty for local people and allows people to help sustain both themselves and their families while helping the local economy to grow.
The new research trajectory ‘Local Sourcing’ recently launched by the KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) aims to understand how small scale farmers and industries can benefit from a commercial relationship; small scale farmers supplying raw materials for food production traded regionally on the African continent. The first steps in that direction have been taken in April with the organisation of an International Conference in Amsterdam named ‘Source it Local’. Other steps have included a so called writeshop on local commodity markets in Arushna, Tanzania. Additional research is required to investigate how local sourcing can be a responsible and cost effective way of doing business with co-benefits of poverty alleviation and development of local economies. Therefore together with NGOs, companies and interested partners, KIT’s research trajectory will embark on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of local sourcing by investigating a number of African cases.
Interested to join the learning trajectory, propose a case or learn from the outcomes?
Please contact: Marije Boomsma at email@example.com
For more information visit the website: Local Sourcing - Business opportunities for small-scale producers & companies
Text: Marije Boomsma