Millions of smallholder families in tropical commodity chains can double their income through improved management (specifically to enhance waste recycling), through better control over green house gas emission (through regular methane production and composting), through decreasing external inputs and through a focus on improving product quality. This book argues that combining sustainable development and poverty reduction is feasible. But it requires efforts of such magnitude that all parties involved must have ample room to fully play and expand their role. Inclusive improvement can be achieved for small-scale producers, by reducing minimum requirements and by focusing on standardizing the process of improvement itself.
Most reports by auditors and certification bodies contain suggestions for improvements. Better is to let producers themselves demonstrate how to solve problems and improve. Let producers transparently plan and work on improvements. Producers are ready to cooperate if they feel that support is reliable and consistent. In this book, based on 20 years of experience, Hivos provides tools and suggestions towards reliable and consistent support.
Surprisingly agreement appears possible on common objectives and related progress indicators. This book offers examples and also serves as an invitation to discussion. The central issue in the book is management. Related issues are centralization and decentralization of decision making and a top-down versus a bottom-up attitude.