Women as Inclusive Business partners

The initiative ‘Women as Inclusive Business partners’ from BoP Innovation Center and ICCO Cooperation supports the private sector in strategy development to better engage women in their value chains in low-income markets, ranging from producers to consumers.

15 good practices have been analyzed of Dutch and international companies, ranging from SME’s or cooperatives to multinational corporations. The practices illustrate ‘the secrets’ to build a successful business case; which benefits both companies and women. Fresh Studio actively took part in developing one of these successful business cases:

The Fruit Republic case

The Fruit Republic (TFR) is a Dutch owned company in Vietnam supplying international quality fruits and vegetables to both international and domestic customers. To expand its vegetable sourcing to North Vietnam The Fruit Republic involved in a vegetable value chain to facilitate access for small-scale vegetable farmers to urban markets in Hanoi.

These smallholder vegetable farmers in North Vietnam were not yet connected to formal retail chains in urban areas. The absence of proper planning, coordination, collection and storage and distribution systems for fresh vegetables were considered to be major bottlenecks to connect these vegetable smallholders to such higher value urban markets.

The vegetable value chain in which The Fruit Republic was involved was built on the extensive local experience of the Vietnamese company Fresh Studio. During the last 5 years they have developed successful strategies to improve the performance of Vietnamese fresh food producers in Vietnam and other Asian countries.

Results for women

  • 1.000 small-scale farm-households in four areas across Vietnam are offered sustainable livelihoods. Especially in the North, most producers are women. In the South, both men and women work on the farms.
  • The producers have stable supplier contracts and receive ongoing agricultural extension to improve their horticultural quality.
  • In the packing houses and fresh cut facility employs 106 women.

Results for business

  • Women take their work more seriously, have an eye for detail and work with precision.
  • Product groups with female leaders are the most entrepreneurial and successful.

Read more about the BoP Inc & ICCO initiative and all its cases


Source: BoP Innovation Center

Publication date: May 2015