Success factors for lead firms to shape inclusive procurement

Publication by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Oxfam and Unilever

Many lead firms in food manufacturing and retailing are looking to open their supply chains to smallholder farmers. Lead firms are rarely, if ever, in a direct trading relationship with smallholders; the relationship is mediated by one or more levels of trader and supplier. The question then arises of how lead firms can support suppliers to trade with smallholders, and in doing so reconcile inclusion of smallholders with commercial drivers. This report has set out to answer that question, based on interviews with lead firms, suppliers and those working to support suppliers to trade with smallholders.

This research was commissioned by the Oxfam–Unilever Project Sunrise (2010-2015), which was established to explore innovative smallholder-based sourcing models for food ingredients, bringing together the development aims of Oxfam with the sustainable sourcing efforts of Unilever. The research will feed into the development of guidance for lead firm procurement operations on working with, and engaging suppliers on, smallholder inclusion.

The final report of Project Sunrise can be found here. For further details, please contact Justin Tait, Sunrise Programme Learning Manager.