New initiative will empower smallholder farmers.
As of January 2019, The Forest Trust has become Earthworm Foundation.
SWITZERLAND, 20 FEBRUARY 2015: TFT today launches Rurality, a new initiative to empower smallholder farmers to lead and thrive in a fast changing world.
“Smallholding farmers are often seen as passive recipients in need of technical assistance, training, or funding. Rurality believes farmers are entrepreneurs and innovators who play a critical role in global supply chains, and that recognising this is the starting point of a more successful approach to rural development. We want to work with the farmer before working with his crop,” said Bastien Sachet, Rurality’s Director.
Rurality will harness farmers’ existing leadership potential and, using TFT’s established market connections and technical expertise, help turn that potential into concrete, effective actions that will improve farmer livelihoods, increase supply chain resilience, and improve adaptability to climate change. Though they farm on small plots of land, smallholders’ impact is enormous: Around 90% of the world’s cocoa is produced by thousands of smallholders farming on less than five hectares of land. The multi-billion dollar palm oil supply chain sources 40% of its palm fruit on family farms. Brands are directly and indirectly connected to millions of farmers.
By building on the market links TFT members have with smallholding farmers, Rurality believes it is possible to drive innovation in collaboration with farmers and to develop models that benefit farming communities and the rural environment.
TFT is pleased to welcome Nestlé as the first brand to support the Rurality initiative, in recognition of the key role family farmers play in its supply chains. Rurality’s work with Nestlé will initially focus on smallholders who produce palm.