Large companies traditionally buy from established suppliers, and target middle- and high-income consumers. As a result, poor people find many essential goods and services too expensive and producers struggle to sell enough to make a living.
SNV creates mutually-beneficial links between businesses and low income communities. Companies have access to a wider pool of quality producers, while enabling poor people to become employees, suppliers and small investors, as well as consumers.
In 2008 in Ecuador, SNV helped improve the lives of 30 tomato producers by linking them to Supermaxi, a large supermarket chain. The producers sold approximately 5,000 kg of tomatoes per week to a regular, guaranteed client, and also received regular trainings to increase their yield and produce better quality tomatoes.
Progress in 2009/2010
Presently, 70 small tomato producers are integrated in the Supermaxi value chain. These producers come from the North of Ecuador, from the “canton” of Pimampiro and the communities of El Inca, san José de Sigsipamba, Loma de Sigsipamba and Loma de San Francisco. Since each producer has an average of five family members, more people benefit from their increase profits.
The producers sell an average of 15,000 kilos of tomatoes per week. SNV expects to increase the number of producers to 100 in 2011 and sell 20,000 kilos of tomatoes per week.
Producers are now receiving more training to improve their farming. While they solely used red-labelled (ie, very toxic chemicals) in the past, they are now learning to use only green (non-toxic) and blue (almost green) products. SNV is following-up regularly, ensuring that they continue applying what they have learned. In the future, the producers will also learn quality control and how to perfect their post-harvesting procedures.