Inclusion of smallholders in modern (i.e. formal and globalised) food supply chains may not bring the benefits that it was expected to, according to this working paper from the International Institute for Environment and Development. Based on a literature review and stakeholder interviews, it concludes that smallholders’ access to higher-value markets probably results in only small income gains with most benefits going to the farmers who were wealthier to start with; that farmer cooperatives can be exclusionary; that despite high awareness of gender issues, there has been little progress on outcomes; and that it is difficult to quantify progress on the outcomes of environmental sustainability standards.
Read the full report, Taking stock of smallholder inclusion in modern value chains: ambitions, reality and signs of change, here. See also the TABLE explainer What is food sovereignty? and the podcast Vincent Ricciardi on Challenging Assumptions (rebroadcast).