Facing the Future
In 2022, we completed a comprehensive strategic review of our Society, being mindful of existing and emerging challenges. These include the climate emergency, which poses an increasing threat to rural communities, the importance of gender equity, the consumer desire for more transparency in supply chains and the fast pace of technological change. Throughout all of this, our community of over 10,000 members remains at our heart.Read Strategic Review
A Five Part Focus
Our strategic review illustrates how relevant and emerging issues can be woven into our actions as we continue to invest in a fairer world. We recognise the significant challenges we face throughout our external environment and our focus over the next five years will therefore aim to address the following:
The impact of climate change is growing on a global scale, with remote and rural regions often suffering most. With extreme weather conditions intensifying, farming communities urgently need to build resilience against rising temperatures and the increasing risk of pests and disease.
RISE IN GLOBAL POVERTY
Over 10% of the world’s population continues to survive on less than the global poverty threshold of 1.90 US Dollars a day. As the Covid-19 crisis pushed more than 119 million people into extreme poverty in 2020, there has been a disproportionate impact on the livelihoods of women and young people, exacerbating longstanding disparities.
SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION
Economists believe the disruption to global supply chains, initially caused by the pandemic, could persist beyond 2022 due to shipping issues, labour shortages and geopolitical tensions. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has warned that developing economies will be most vulnerable.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies across global business sectors, digitising internal operations, as well as customer and supply-chain interactions by several years. It also created a large shift in people adopting online methods of communication, and consumer research carried out in 2021 described a desire to overcome any social differences with connection as a common purpose. However, there remains a global digital divide. According to the World Bank, at the end of 2021, nearly three billion people remained offline, the vast majority concentrated in developing countries.
Gender equity has an extremely significant part to play in strengthening communities. By supporting women who live in remote and rural regions, we can increase productivity and promote economic growth. Narrowing the gender gap not only helps women prosper, it helps their families and communities thrive. We will therefore continue to support producer organisations that meet our lending criteria and create opportunities for women’s empowerment.
To view the co-operatives and projects we have supported that represent our focus of Gender Equity, please click on the button below.
Diversifying the Portfolio
Coffee and cocoa dominate the Fairtrade system and this is reflected in our lending portfolio. Our team undertook research into other certifications such as Rainforest Alliance, but it became clear during consultations that our members see Fairtrade as the gold standard due to the Premium and Minimum Price requirements.
After careful consideration, we have taken the decision not to finance potential customers solely certified by Rainforest Alliance at this time, following strong views from members during our consultation process. In addition, as this certification predominantly covers coffee and cocoa, broadening our focus in this way would not help us to diversify our portfolio.
To view the co-operatives and projects we have supported that represent our focus of Diversifying the Portfolio, please click on the button below.
New Territories and Products
We will strive to reach more producers, diversifying our lending portfolio by entering new territories and funding a wider range of products. Despite considerable research, unfortunately we have concluded that direct lending in India will not be possible in the near future due to the legal framework in that region.
To view the co-operatives and projects we have supported that represent our focus of New Territories and Products, please click on the button below.
Our mission may not be directly connected to the issue of climate change; however, the products, people and communities we support are significantly affected by its impact. In order to take our climate focus forward, we will build partnerships, help encourage our customers to become more climate resilient, and develop information resources for our members.
To view the co-operatives and projects we have supported that represent our focus of Climate Change, please click on the button below.
Shared Interest Foundation already provides some capacity building support and training in climate impact mitigation. Building on this, we will look for innovative ways to provide additional technical assistance, specifically for Society customers. We envisage this focusing on areas such as financial capacity and governance, in order to improve producer resilience and reduce the Society’s risk levels.
To view the co-operatives and projects we have supported that represent our focus of Technical Assistance, please click on the button below.