Nathalie’s Direct Trade joins Business Call to Action with a commitment to build markets for organic food products that improve the lives of Colombian farmers and processors
Stockholm, 6 September 2017 – Sweden-based organic food company Nathalie’s Direct Trade AB (NDT) has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) by pledging to purchase organic-certified produce from Colombian small-scale farmers in order to improve the livelihoods of at least 300 smallholders by 2020. By that same year, the company has also pledged to enhance the livelihoods of at least 200 processors and packagers in its value chain.
Launched in 2008, 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 USD 10 per day in purchasing power as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors (in 2015 dollars). It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In the global food industry, there is an established system in which raw agricultural products are grown by developing-country small farmers. Large companies purchase these farmers’ fresh produce through middlemen, who exert tremendous control over the prices farmers receive and take a large cut of their profits. The produce is then processed, packed and sold in other countries far from farmers, who often receive only a tiny amount of the prices that the final products command. As a result, smallholder producers are trapped in poverty and unable to invest improving their farms.
Nathalie Aldana founded Nathalie’s Direct Trade AB (NDT) in 2011 to buck this trend by keeping the entire food-production value chain close to farmers. Although she was born and brought up in Stockholm, Sweden, her father is from Colombia, giving Nathalie special insights into the challenges small farmers there face (many generations of her ancestors had been peasant farmers).
Working through local partners such as BCtA member Fruandes, NDT sources organic certified produce for the demanding Scandinavian market. Its dried mango, pineapple, bananito and golden gooseberry are purchased directly from smallholders by Fruandes and processed by local people.
“By working with reputable local partners, we are able to open up promising new markets for small farmers and ensure that our partners provide them with fair margins from the sale of their produce”, explained company CEO Nathalie Aldana. “In the process, we are creating jobs for packers and processors in-country as well, and ensuring that they earn decent wages”.
In addition to boosting farmers’ sales margins to 20 percent or more, NDT is working to ensure that the majority of its local partners’ packers and processors are single mothers or other people who are vulnerable as a result of the country’s recent conflict. These salaried workers receive health and pension benefits, as well as access to interest-free loans to improve their living conditions. Its inclusive business model has earned NDT recognition as a market innovator committed to making life better for Colombians all along its value chain.
According to BCtA Programme Manager Paula Pelaez, “By engaging in direct trade, processing its products in farmers’ country of origin and ensuring that producers utilize organic practices, NDT is bringing local smallholders and other value-chain actors into the global market. This not only boosts their livelihoods tremendously – it enables communities recovering from conflict to invest in their country’s future.”
Currently, the company is broadening its product portfolio and extending its partnerships, with plans to increase turnover by more than 40 percent each year until 2020. In the process, NDT is actively seeking to integrate people in post-conflict re-integration programmes into its value chain. Since the company serves a market that appreciates its contribution to social justice, its inclusive model adds value to the company’s products as well to the lives of people along its value chain.
For further information:
BCtA: Aimee Brown at email@example.com
Nathalie’s Direct Trade (NDT): Nathalie Aldana at Nathalie@nathaliesdirecttrade.se
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
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 a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
About Nathalie’s Direct Trade (NDT): Founded in 2011, Sweden-based NDT prides itself on building markets for climate-smart, socially and environmentally sustainable food products from Colombia that create value for everybody along the value chain, from poor farmers to packers, processors and consumers. Purchasing fruit directly from small-scale farmers through local partner companies, the ensures farmers a minimum 20 percent margin. Further along the value chain, NDT provides sustainable employment for vulnerable women and others impacted by conflict. For consumers in Scandinavia, the company offers certified organic, fairly traded products that meet market demands. For more information about the company and its products, visit nathalieswebshop.com.