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Information for 16037IIED

The ethical agent: fresh flowers in Kenya

Abbi Buxton, Bill Vorley

Report/paper, 40 pages

Presented here is a case study of ethical agents which, although supported by development project funds, can offer a commercial model for aligning the business models of smallholders, SME suppliers, and demanding modern retailers. In this project to bring Kenyan smallholder flowers into the supermarkets of the UK and US, ethical agents intervened at multiple levels of the chain to create new market opportunities, build capacity of the Kenyan SME aggregator/supplier, negotiate the terms of supply, and enable flexibility at the retailer end.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 16037IIED
  • Published: Sep 2012 - IIED, Sustainable Food Laboratory
  • Theme: Sustainable markets
  • Language: English

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Project information

Millions of farmers in Africa depend on export markets for their livelihoods. But recent market trends have led to declining small farmer participation. Yet, these farmers have the skill and soil to provide the high-quality products the food industry seeks. This collaborative initiative engaged with research, civil society and private sector partners to develop new business models across a variety of sectors that enable smallholders to participate in sustainable trading relationships with international businesses and thereby improve their livelihoods.

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New business models for sustainable trade

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