Around 60 employees in Togo and Burkina Faso pay regular visits to the family farmers who supply us with their mangos, cashews, cocoa or soy. Our business model wouldn't work without these field agents. We spoke to two of them about their day-to-day work and the challenges they encounter.
This year, we have shared our turnover with 587 family farmers in Togo. We were able to increase the amount paid by a whopping 130 percent. We transferred the money to most of the families directly via their mobile phones – an advantage for both sides.
If you want to buy honey produced in Switzerland or Germany, you'll find it at farm shops or delis. But you're unlikely to find it at the supermarket and gebana doesn't carry it either. The reason is simple: local beekeepers don't produce enough to meet the current demand.
Our Brazil nuts come from Coopavam in Brazil. The cooperative provides an income to more than 300 families in the heart of the rainforest. Co-founder Luzirene Coelho Lustosa explains how she helped make the small-scale project a success and thereby protect the forest in a country where deforestation and huge monocultures are everywhere.
Without cocoa, there can be no chocolate. And without the family farmers who grow these crops, there would be no cocoa. Millions of these family farmers live in poverty. Pricing is only part of the problem. Small-scale farming practices also play a significant role.
In January and February 2022, the agricultural technicians from gebana Burkina Faso travelled across the country, paying out 10 percent of our profits from the sale of dried mangoes and cashew nuts to almost 3,000 family farmers. A few of the families told us what they think of these payments and what they plan to do with the money.