Welcome to SUSTAINEO

SUSTAINEO was founded 2011 to bring attention to the role of smallholder farmers in the context of raw material supply, and to raise awareness about the inadequate living conditions in rural production areas. Through close collaboration, SUSTAINEO developed approaches on how to efficiently support smallholder farmers in the raw material sectors coffee, cocoa, and cotton, conducted critical studies and established practical guidelines for those interested, and participated actively in political dialogue.

Since the establishment of SUSTAINEO, an increased number of spaces for dialogue and projects have formed, bringing together private economy, politics, and donors. Goal of these spaces (in cocoa “CocoaAction” and “Kakao-Forum”, in cotton the “Textilbündnis”, and in coffee “IDH-4C-ICO”) is to sustainably shape and advance the various raw material sectors. This work is most welcome and continues the idea of a wider sector collaboration and dialogue behind SUSTAINEO.

The active collaboration of the foundations under the name SUSTAINEO will be reduced from 2014 because of the previously described developments. A regular specialist exchange, however, will be maintained. The individual participation in the aforementioned spaces is viewed as the most effective approach to implement the values complied through SUSTAINEO. Politics, industry, and development organizations have the responsibility to manage the various spaces in a successful and goal-oriented manner. The foundations Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, AbTF, and JF will diligently support the initiatives.

The studies and publications SUSTAINEO developed can be downloaded from this website.

Projects / Publications

Position paper about the challanges of certification systems (in German; in cooperaton with the NGO „Südwind“) Download

Study by KPMG „Improving smallholder livelihoods: Effectiveness of certification in coffee, cocoa and cotton“ Download

SUSTAINEO Impact Guide Download

Ratgeber für wirkungsvolles Engagement in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (German; Kooperation mit dem BMZ und Phineo) – Download

Pressemitteilung „SUSTAINEO fragt nach Nutzen von Zertifizierungen für Kleinbauern in Entwicklungsländern“ (German) Download

Positionspapier SUSTAINEO (German; April 2011) – Download

Hintergrund SUSTAINEO

On Tuesday, 19th of April 2011, an alliance of the renowned entrepreneurs Dr. Michael Otto, Dr. Christian Jacobs and Michael R. Neumann was officially announced in a press conference held in Hamburg. SUSTAINEO is the name of this strategic initiative which strives for a stronger involvement of global market dynamics in development approaches to enable smallholder farmers in coffee, cocoa and cotton to improve their income and living conditions. Furthermore, SUSTAINEO aims to establish a strategic dialogue with policy makers. An intensive exchange of experiences between the foundations Hanns R Neumann Stiftung, Jacobs Foundation and Aid by Trade Foundation is foreseen to continuously improve the quality of work and document its impact.

Population growth, surface erosion and other use of cultivated areas make the supply of agricultural products a major global challenge. At the same time, the production of coffee, cotton and cocoa is of outstanding economic and social importance to many developing countries. Approx. 250 million people are depending on the production of said commodities which are primarily grown in poor rural areas. A professionalization of the entrepreneurial activities of smallholder farmers is a great opportunity to increase the typically very low income achieved.

“The demand for sustainably obtained products is going to increase more and more. By pooling our strengths in form of an alliance, we want to achieve that especially smallholder farmers contribute to the required supply volumes and benefit from an increasing demand by means of more productivity and better access to markets”, states Dr. Michael Otto. “In the project work of our foundations, we encounter comparable social and economic framework conditions and challenges when it comes to implementation and achievement of our objectives. In order to be able to enhance efficient and sustainable development cooperation we want to place our projects at new quality levels”, says Michael R. Neumann.

“It is substantial to provide access to education to the children of smallholder farmers and to allow the communities to recognize education as necessary prerequisite for economic advance. It is this approach that I want to anchor more firmly by establishing SUSTAINEO”, states Dr. J. Christian Jacobs.