We work directly with rural organizations to advance their capacities, establish partnerships, strengthen management systems and improve their access to markets. Working in alliance with development agencies, foundations, corporations and public institutions, we have supported producer organizations from a diverse range of sectors and geographies.
GENERATING EMPLOYMENT IN QUIBDÓ
The project is part of the program “African descent and indigenous people” of the non-profit organization ACDI/VOCA, that was planned in late 2012 with implementation commencing in early 2013. Its main objective is stated in its name: “Generating employment and increasing income for local enterprises in Quibdo from strengthening producer organizations”. The project aims to increase income for local enterprises through strengthened internal capabilities made possible by development of and adherence to a sustainable management system.
The BSD Colombia team began the project with the identification of productive activities and local enterprises in the vulnerable areas, followed by measurement of the enterprise according to four different aspects, including market, leadership, performance and social impact. After filtering the potential of the identified enterprises, we generated an action plan tailored to each organization to start the strengthening of their capacities and to assist them to follow an ideal path to develop, and adhere to, a sustainable management system.
The project resulted in 80 enterprises identified as relevant, 14 organizations with action plans, 7 allied local institutions and more than 80 people of African descent involved.
BRAZILIAN COFEE PRODUCERS
The BSD Brazil team was an implementing partner of a project led by USAID, Fairtrade USA, WalMart and Sebrae Minas Gerais called “Responsible Sourcing Partnership”. The project helped to increase the Fairtrade sales from 16 coffee cooperatives in Brazil representing over 5000 small producers. The project targeted market access, quality improvement, governance and administration. In the third year of the project, the average income increase per producer was more than USD 3221 per annum and the Democracy ranking of the groups raised from 7 to 9.6 on a scale of 10. Following termination of the project, the groups continued to show sustained growth and quality improvement. Today, BSD is supporting the Fairtrade producers with a customized client management tool and other activities which facilitate their access to the buyer market.
DEVELOPMENT OF BUSINESS PLAN FOR A BASE OF THE PYRAMID PROJECT
ACC1Ò is a Catalan public agency, which supports the competitiveness of companies by promoting innovation, internationalization, and attraction of investors. On request by ACC1Ò, the BSD Spain team developed a business plan for a Base of the Pyramid (BoP) project. This project aimed to define a sustainable business model that generates income and promotes development in poor regions of developing countries. The end result of this business plan is the AEROFEEDER, a device developed by the Catalan organizations FEMAC, MaqCentre, and IRTA. It improves the profitability of farmers that produce shrimp with basic methods. The plan is supplemented with representation and support services that encourage the development of value chains and good aquaculture practices.
EMPOWERING WOMEN IN COLOMBIA COFFEE SECTOR
In Colombia, the National Public Equity for Women Policy has recently incorporated the principles of equality and non-discrimination, gender analysis, differential rights approach and the recognition of differences and diversity, including ethnic and cultural relevance. Thus, the principle of equality and human dignity according to which "all people are born free and equal" is now a formally recognized principle but is yet to be achieved universally for women in Colombia. Women do however actively participate and promote these principles at local community level to generate better way of living and thinking in a collective sense.
In terms of improving rural livelihoods in this respect, the BSD Colombia team developed a unique project in 2008 to empower women working in coffee production. The project aimed to achieve five different targets including greater inclusion of women in the coffee production industry, increased capacity empowerment and equal access to opportunities; taking into account the specific needs of women and to promote improved perceptions on gender within the coffee sector. These targets were developed to give focus to participatory councils that were established for coffee women.
This rural development project was designed to align with local and national public policies in regards to gender equity, and to enhance and promote better working conditions for women.