FRESHMARK HUB – A model for sustainable value chain development
With the majority of farms producing food in Africa being between 1 and 10 hectares, addressing market access has become a significant challenge for value chain development. Traditional models have failed to integrate small and medium-sized farming operations sustainably into formalised value chains at scale. This is where Freshmark comes in.
Solving this problem requires a different approach. But how should market access points operate? What is the type of intermediation required? How do we structure the business models? How would one unlock economies of scale? How do we align policy frameworks? How do we avoid growers becoming price takers? How do we build trust and transparency?
Unlocking long-term sustainable agricultural production across the value chain can only be attained through broad, integrated, inclusive planning in combination with targeted policy, funding and regulatory interventions. Moving away from a short-term, subsidised and fragmented approach to planning and implementation would serve as an important first step. The South African fresh produce market model offers us a valuable success story on how a network of formalised markets should be implemented.
To address the various challenges, Freshmark Systems embarked on a drive to develop a model that contributes to solving the above problem. The approach utilised strategic partnerships and empirical research combined with industry experience. The resulting model has been tested with both private and public sector stakeholders. A proof of concept was developed and is serving as a benchmark for value chain development incorporating development agriculture.
The concept revolves around the parallel development of primary production, dedicated value-adding functions and off-take facilitation. Through partnering with supplier development initiatives the framework provides a multi-commodity end-to-end development of value chains. Empowering producers in this manner allows for broad-based development supplier development. Localised food distribution within communities also directly strengthens food security and job creation.
The diagram below further illustrates the high-level Freshmark approach.
Please visit www.freshmarksystems.co.za for more information and/or feel free to contact us for a formal presentation.
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