Help on organic and fairtrade supply chains
As well as being downloadable from the OFCC website, The Organic Business Guide has also been published as a wikibook allowing those in the industry to contribute to further developing it online (similar to wikipedia).The guide was developed in collaboration with the organic associations ICCO, IFOAM and AgroEco and with support from ICCO, SECO, SIDA and UNEP. It targets producer organisations,
companies and development organisations engaged in organic production and fair trade with smallholders. Based on the experience of the different organisations and contributing persons, the guide offers practical know-how and information on how to design organic production systems, organise producers, set up extension and internal control systems, plan and manage business figures, ensure quality management, processes and market the produce – its described as a comprehensive reference book for organic entrepreneurs, cooperatives and facilitators. For example, the guide highlights the commodity approach versus crop diversity i.e. even if the project is built around one lead crop; the report suggests it is important to include suitable rotation or associated crops that can ideally be marketed as organic. In other words, the same extension system that was primarily built to support farmers in growing their organic cotton can also cover the production of maize, cassava or chillies.
The Organic Business Guide was developed in a participatory process involving people who are active and experienced in managing or supporting organic businesses in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It draws on a wide range of practical examples and provides links to useful resources available on the internet.
A French version of the guide is presently under preparation and will be available in April 2010.