Partnering with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), McCormick and local Madagascar vanilla exporter Ramanandraibe, NCBA CLUSA engaged co-op development experts and volunteers to support local farmers looking to form a vanilla co-op through the USAID East Africa Trade Hub Project.
Extended through January 31, 2018, with remaining activities focusing on continued management training for the co-op, the Trade Hub project continues to link Madagascar farmers to global markets, improving incomes and livelihoods. Part of this initiative includes support in building an integrated storage and curing facility that will be jointly owned and managed by the national exporter and the Avotra Co-op.
NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer project in the region, supported by VEGA, brought these projects together; the volunteers trained farmers and the co-op’s leadership and the Trade Hub project linked the co-op to export markets, helping to build a longterm partnership with the exporter.
The Trade Hub project is an example of how public-private partnerships can contribute to real outcomes for farmers. When U.S. private sector firms invest in sourcing from co-ops, not only are farmers’ livelihoods improved, but oftentimes it means a higher quality product as well.
Speaking at the Cooperative IMPACT Conference on the Transforming Role of Public-Private Partnerships panel, McCormick’s Vice President of Global Sustainability & Packaging Innovation Michael Okoroafor identified transparency, trust and an enduring supply chain as key strategies for the company.
“We want to leverage our partnerships… how do we leverage the expertise, experience and network. To me, that’s a purposeful investment,” Okoraoafor said. “For us, it’s not about what we do, but about the impact of what we do.”
NCBA CLUSA also partners with McCormick in Indonesia and East Timor.
You can read more about the Madagascar Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer trips in the Summer 2017 issue of the Cooperative Business Journal.
Watch the video below to learn how partnerships can change farming in the vanilla industry: