GLOBAL FARMERS MARKET - Making CSV work for marginalised subsistence communities

By creating shared value, we connect rural small-scale farmers in Mozambique directly to their customers in premium export markets.

Photo of Jonathan Litscher
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Global Farmers Market

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 250 - 500

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Headquarters location: Country

  • Mozambique

Headquarters location: City

Nkholongue, Lago District, Niassa Province, Mozambique

Location(s) of impact

Mozambique: Rural communities in the coastal region on Lake Niassa


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

The people in Mozambique's rural region along Lake Niassa are extremely poor and their lives are marked by hardship. Their valuable resources in the form of abundant tropical fruit cannot generate income, as there is no access to markets. Costs to create such access seem prohibitive: the fruit need to be sourced from many smallholders in isolated villages, processed locally and transported over long distances. As a result, most of the fruit, particularly mangoes, rot under the trees and people remain trapped in poverty.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Our CSV approach valorises our direct sourcing from rural smallholders and achieves premium prices in European markets which more than cover the high costs. Each of our own-brand dried fruit packets honours one of our growers with her/his face and name - prominently, front and center. Consumers in Europe are invited to send us a selfie with a packet; we print the photos off and and hand them to the growers. This simple, yet meaningful human connection creates joy for all. As a result, our customers are willing to pay more than double the price of other comparable products. After successfully testing this CSV approach in an artisanal pilot project, we built a professional fruit processing and packaging facility right amongst the communities. We have certified 250 growers in 7 communities as organic producers. Selling to us, they earn 4 times the local market price. The concept has proven to be financially viable. It is scalable and applicable in a range of similar contexts.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

We bring much-needed income to some of the poorest of the rural poor in Mozambique. 250 growers and 60 seasonal factory workers now earn an income to support their families. In 2016, we paid a total of 40k USD directly to people in the local communities. The impact on people's lives is dramatic. They can now afford basic necessities such as plastic sheets to waterproof their roofs, mattresses and blankets to keep warm at night or food when their own reserves run out. Parents can bear the costs of schooling their children and young people save up for high school exam fees. The organic certification of 250 smallholders has consolidated environmentally sound practices for the whole region. Our seedling distribution programme will contribute to reforestation: our nursery currently houses 10,000 mango plants for growers to increase their harvest. Lastly, we take a holistic view of shared value. Our inclusive concept transmits to our growers a sense of joy, pride and worthiness.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Total capital investment of USD 400k was entirely borne by the founders' own equity except for a grant contribution of USD 80k by USAID. Operating expenses are covered by earned income. Exceptional sales prices ensure financial sustainability. To consolidate the operation, further investments of USD 200k are required. New capital assets will maximise facility capacity, extend the production season and reduce operational risks. Investment in our outgrower network and seedling distribution will increase the number of suppliers and diversify their fruit production. This will multiply our local impact and open up opportunities for replication.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our approach to CSV is unique. By honouring our small-scale producers on our products and allowing consumers to express their appreciation to them, we achieve the price premiums needed to source from them in the first place. We don't know of any other initiative that creates shared value in this way. That is why we succeed where conventional commercial and development models fail: in bringing inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities to some of the most isolated rural communities.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Global Farmers Market's founder Jonathan first visited the villages on Lake Niassa in 2007 to work with his family in setting up an eco-tourism lodge. When he saw the huge discrepancy between people's natural resources in the form of abundant tropical fruit and their deep poverty, he knew he would one day return to help them realise their potential. In June 2013, he quit his banking job in London to go and build a small fruit drying facility in the community of Nkholongue. One day when he was chatting with the local women who had brought their mangoes to sell, it struck him how special and valuable that human connection was. It was suddenly obvious that consumers in Europe would love to experience that, and that GFM's dried fruit would bring people together, bridging the gap between two worlds.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sebastian Gatica

Keep up the good work there! Hope we can set up an initiative like your in Chile

Photo of Jonathan Litscher

Thank you Sebastian. Absolutely, it would be great to replicate our model in Chile. Maybe we can team up for that at some point!

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