At the beginning of 2019 we tried something new in Togo: With an app, we wanted to improve and above all simplify the flow of information between family farmers and gebana. Michael Stamm, member of our development team, talks about the experiment and how we will continue.
The situation remains dire in the Zapatista areas in Chiapas, Mexico, where our coffee cooperative Yachil Xojobal Chulchán is located. After a serious fungal infestation on the coffee plantations, they are now besieged by paramilitaries. Merely leaving one’s home is considered dangerous.
When trade flourishes, countries can develop and economies can grow. This leads to a variety of offerings that are adapted to consumer needs. Production, supply chain, distribution – the entire system becomes more efficient, thus increasing prosperity. So why change the rules of trade? Because wealth is unevenly distributed and we as consumers cannot see the whole picture.
Something is happening in Brazil. More and more farmers are turning their backs on deadly pesticides. The Brazilian television station "Rede Globo" presented a piece about gebana Brazil and its organic farmers, which you can view with English subtitles here.
I am Bianca Trevino, 34 years old, born in the USA. I started working for gebana in July 2018. After a year of planning, my partner – Michael Stamm, who also works for gebana – and I decided to move to West Africa. Not an easy decision with an infant (our son Mateo was nine months old at the time). Our life in Benin and Togo is nothing but ordinary, yet fully extraordinary. I am excited to share our experiences with you here in the future.
After about 9 months under relatively hard living conditions in the north of Benin we packed our stuff and moved to Togo. The reason for this big step is a structural change in gebana Benin. In other words: the gebana group is not a shareholder of gebana Benin anymore but only a long-term client. Consequently, my full presence was not needed anymore.
After spending some time in Lomé, Togo, in February to find the right home, we started to pack all our stuff! Fortunately, we carefully had kept all the boxes from the previous move and things went quite fast.
For over 40 years we have been involved in fair trade. However, we announced recently that we are no longer labelling our products ‘fair’.
This is because ‘fair’ suggests satisfactory conditions, whereas the actual situation is often different. With our trade, we want to have more of an impact in the countries of origin. Hence, we will drive forward our commitment to social and ecological sustainability in a more focussed way.
Please keep me informed about gebana and its products.
Halten Sie mich über dieses Projekt auf dem Laufenden.×
Smallholders and local producers harvest and refine products of extraordinary quality worldwide. But for many of these producers there is no adequate or stable market. You can buy directly from these producers via the Access to Market Platform and help them to participate in the market. The principle behind this is crowd ordering – a new trade model whereby a number of consumers order a product together so as to achieve a minimum order quantity. We at gebana support the producers with our know-how, and organise the logistics.
Enable someone to make their first export with your order. Please note: Unexpected events often lead to delays, and you may find that the quality is not yet perfect. For this reason, your feedback is absolutely essential. The export experience and your feedback are important steps for the producers towards accessing the market. As a customer, you are witness to the whole process, playing your part in pioneering work.
You can order from these producers simply and directly. You receive your product as soon as the minimum order quantity has been reached and the products are ready. The risk for you is minimal, since the producers already have a product that is ready for market. This sales channel is beneficial to both the producers and the consumers, since it cuts out the middle man.
Be part of the development of supply chains and support innovation! Some of the ways you can do this include testing new products, giving feedback, or financially supporting the producers in their next steps. In doing so, you will be able to see for yourself how the products and supply chains develop.
This is where you can see all the completed projects on the Access to Market Platform at a glance. You can find out where products are now available from or whether the producers are still seeking a trade partner.