Colombian restaurant group closes social gaps in the food production chain
Bogotá, Colombia, 20 October 2020 – Colombian restaurant group TAKAMI has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to strengthen its supply chain and promote environmental sustainability through partnerships with vulnerable and low-income suppliers, including 480 cheese producers, 35 fishers and 80 avocado producers by 2021.
BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In 2018, TAKAMI’s research uncovered two important facts. First, that 48 percent of its employees were at the base of the economic pyramid, with several who identify as members of marginalized groups or victims of armed conflict. Second, that its supply chain was generating opportunities for 1,360 people across 18 of Colombia’s 32 departments.
TAKAMI began developing internal projects to actively improve the lives of its vulnerable employees. Through membership with BCtA, TAKAMI will enhance its focus on building a sustainable supply chain, recognizing that conservation of natural resources and enhanced production systems will boost local economies, promote development and generate greater financial returns for both TAKAMI and its rural, low-income suppliers.
“Our dream has become our purpose for being: transforming lives by making a positive impact on the people with whom we interact,” says Nicolas Vasquez Duque, CEO of TAKAMI.
To generate this positive impact, TAKAMI has implemented changes to its own collection centres, product handling and payment systems. The restaurant group has also outlined a plan to ensure environmental sustainability and better business conditions for its fish, cheese and avocado suppliers by 2021.
TAKAMI will work with 35 fishers from an isolated area whose income corresponds to less than US $10 per day. In partnership with various sustainable fishing organizations, the company will guarantee that its suppliers meet responsible fishing criteria and receive fair and transparent payment for their work.
In its cheese supply chain, the company will improve quality of life for 480 people from 60 sustainable dairy farms. Through partnership with the Committee of Livestock Producers of Caquetá, TAKAMI will ensure suppliers receive a daily income of US $10, as well as business support and technical assistance.
TAKAMI will also partner with 80 avocado producing families from FRUPAL, an organization that promotes agricultural entrepreneurship, fair trade, and a better quality of life for rural growers. This is a market that will continue to grow, with TAKAMI projecting that its restaurant expansions will lead to a 20 percent increase in annual avocado orders.
The success of TAKAMI’s plan is already evident in its livestock supply chain, where purchases in the first six months of 2019 increased 139 percent over the previous year.
“TAKAMI understands that food sourcing and agricultural practices can have a high social, environmental and economic impact,” says Luciana Aguiar, Head of Business Call to Action. “Their model for sustainable consumption is environmentally sound and represents meaningful change for suppliers at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About TAKAMI: With a name meaning “good idea” in Japanese, TAKAMI is a restaurant group that serves more than 2.5 million customers every year. The company originated as a collaboration between two friends who turned their passion for sushi and gastronomy into a single sushi bar in Bogotá. Today, TAKAMI includes 27 restaurants and 12 concepts, all made possible with the support of 1,000 workers and 350 different suppliers. TAKAMI has gold level certification through NaturaCert for its commitment to responsible commercial fishing. The organization has also received numerous accolades for its commitment to peacebuilding and sustainable business practices.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org.