There are so many great ideas, projects and products out there! So we decided to present a bouquet full of ideas about how we can make the world more sustainable with food and drink. We support these ideas and invite you to join our call to action: let’s change trade – now!
People often ask us what the best label is. And which concept, idea, company or person is the fairest or most sustainable. Those are the wrong questions. They seek ideology instead of values, separation instead of unity, and turn our food into a religious exercise. This won't get us very far. We need to broaden our consumption in a way that appeals to our senses. And strive for diversity together.
A broader consumption that appeals to our senses means that we need more than cashews and mangos from gebana Burkina Faso or cocoa beans and pineapples from gebana Togo. We need many other products, but above all, we need ideas and new models from other visionaries, thought leaders and courageous risk-takers like ourselves. From the many colourful little fish swimming around in the market, this pond we share.
Let's get together, form a school and go after the big fish! At the very least, we want to help others see what is available and all the exciting concepts that exist. Because we know that the big fish in the pond are watching us very carefully. So here's a message for the big fish: Take a look at the concepts of sharing, sustainability and radical change – and get moving. We need you!
The Vienna-based start-up BioBalkan works closely together with producers and farming families from Western Balkan countries. Part of their mission is to create inclusive jobs for mothers and women with no formal training and to promote organic farming and local business development. Their products include spicy and sweet artisanal delicatessen products.
The Conflictfood team travels to conflict regions and brings us local specialities straight from the source. Their motto: Trade for change! The keys to their concept are the appreciation of local food and fair prices for the producers. The range currently includes saffron from Afghanistan, tea, coffee and ginger from Myanmar and freekeh from Palestine.
Brothers Henrik and Konstantin Jessen sell fruit-based beverages produced entirely in Colombia. They create a stable income for over 1’000 people in the country through local production. And for every bottle sold, 3 euro cents go towards a social fund that the brothers use to support farming families from former civil war zones in Colombia.
Martin Grellner and Leon Niederl from Munich love chocolates. But in their eyes, the queen of sweets has a flaw: too much sugar and waste, and not enough consideration for farming families and nature. Which is why they produce their own vegan chocolates in Weihenstephan – made with dates and chocolate, without added sugar, using organic and fairtrade ingredients.
The Berlin-based company KarmaKollektiv has made it their mission to rethink the value chain. KarmaKollektiv offers fairtrade organic spices, teas and coffees from small-scale farmers and cooperatives. All of their products come in reusable jars, developed and filled by people with disabilities.
The Mayoneurs, which is what the brains behind this Dutch company call themselves, produce mayonnaise exclusively from plant-based ingredients. They now offer seven different flavour variants. For every jar of mayo sold, they donate part of their income to TreesForAll. They have already planted over 300 trees in Costa Rica, Ghana and Vietnam.
This coffee project was launched in 2008 with clear objectives: to create more added value and jobs in the country of origin. Solino coffee is sourced entirely from Ethiopia, from roasting to packaging. This means that at least 60 per cent more added value stays inside the country compared to the export of green coffee. In addition to qualified apprenticeship positions, 120 jobs have been created with their Ethiopian partners.
Meret Brotbek and Boris Rafalski are specialists in organically grown spices from small-scale farming cooperatives. They process spices in the inclusive SoulSpice production facilities in Bad Tölz, where disadvantaged people are offered new future prospects. SoulSpice assists farming families in their place of origin with organic certification and farming methods and promotes biodiversity.
This coffee roastery in Tübingen stands for coffee expertise and a flair for special aroma combinations from each harvest. But it also stands for radical transparency: SUEDHANG discloses all of its invoices and company records. Responsible consumption means that everyone should be able to judge for themselves whether a company meets the relevant ethical and ecological standards.
Sibylle Jenni and her four colleagues are the queens of muesli. In their Zurich bakery, the five of them produce what is probably the highest quality granola in Switzerland. They use only organically grown and fairtrade ingredients, pack in recycled bags, and integrate people with mental and physical disabilities into their business.
The small business from the Netherlands produces cakes, brownies and muffins. Donny Craves completely avoids the use of animal ingredients such as eggs and butter, and also uses vegetables with visible imperfections that would otherwise be discarded.
goodmoodfood imports vegan food such as minimally processed raw cacao or coconut blossom sugar and follows a holistic and socially sustainable approach. The company does without middlemen and works directly with cooperatives of smallholder families. For more economic and ecological perspectives, it trains them in permaculture cultivation.
The small business from Leun, Germany offers growing kits for microgreens. Those are young, seedlings from various vegetables. They send out kits with rocket, radish or pak choi seeds that can be grown at home in the coconut shell provided. Each set is thus completely biodegradable.
The brains behind the Dutch company make syrup from locally produced fruits and herbs as well as food that would otherwise end up in the rubbish. Diluted with water, one bottle of their syrup is equivalent to a whole crate of lemonade. For every bottle of elderflower syrup sold, the self-proclaimed fruit butchers plant a tree.
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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.