Cooperation between communities, private sector and development partners

Published: 26 February 2019
Last edited: 26 February 2019

The partnership was set up by using a multi-stakeholder approach involving a wide range of actors such as communities from the regions, private partners from Germany (Original Food), local administration and public authorities (e.g. Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority) as well as partners from civil society (NABU, GEO Protects the Rainforest) and international partners (GIZ on behalf of BMZ). The partnership took advantage of the specialized know-how and networks of its members combining knowledge about local production, international quality standards, administrative procedures, capacity development and process advice.


A cooperative structure was set up jointly with local administrations helping farmers to export the forest products. Now, the majority of smallholders is organised in cooperatives and the project partners work closely with unions to establish a quality assurance system for the supply chains.


Both the smallholders and the employees of the cooperatives and unions receive trainings to extend their knowledge and take over the tasks in the new value chains. The economic activities were accompanied by several social projects such as family planning, youth centres HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives etc.


Alliance and partnership development
Co-management building
Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • The initiative is in line with goals of government to preserve the country`s unique biodiversity and reduce environmental threats
  • Clear long-term interest and trustful relationship between Original Food with farmers, cooperatives and unions since 2003
  • Concept of economic incentive and protection through sustainable use of natural resources
  • Close collaboration with local population and entities
  • Broad knowledge and experience from all different partners combined

Lessons learned

  • The mode of collaboration was highly innovative as it successfully created a linkage between economic regional development and environmental sustainability, between local population and attractive, long-term income opportunities through the protection of the rainforest
  • Today, more than ¼ of the PFM area is closely linked to the wild coffee trade, all 324 PFM user groups have additionally been trained to support the forest conservation
  • Direct cooperation between private companies and small-scale farmers helped to empower them and secure access to the European market

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