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  4. Mapping our farmer programmes

Mapping our farmer programmes

Through our suppliers we source from more than 1.5 million farmers who in turn support communities of over 7 million people.

Unilever smallholder farmer interventions

Our approach focuses on developing interventions that help smallholders and their communities improve agricultural practices, business capabilities and life skills, strengthening women's economic standing and promoting young agricultural entrepreneurs. Through these interventions we will improve livelihoods and help build long-term, viable businesses.

The interactive map below shows the dedicated projects around the world with our suppliers and partners.

  • Ghana

    Project Focus: Youth financial and social literacy programme

    Project reach: 300 smallholder farmers

    Crop: cocoa

    Brand/s: Magnum, Cornetto, Breyers and others

    Project focus: Youth financial and social literacy programme

    Unilever partnered with Solidaridad West Africa to pilot a ‘Financial and Social Literacy for Youth in Cocoa’ programme to help encourage young people to work in the cocoa sector. The aim was to test a new curriculum that would enable them to earn a living as professional cocoa farmers.

    Unilever is also working in the region to help 10,000 smallholder farmers achieve Rainforest Alliance certification.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more about this
  • Ivory Coast

    Project Focus: helping cocoa farmers gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Project reach: 16,800 smallholder farmers

    Crop: cocoa

    Brand/s: Magnum, Ben & Jerry's, Cornetto, Breyers

    Project focus: helping cocoa farmers in West Africa gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Unilever has helped over 16,000 smallholder cocoa growers to gain Rainforest Alliance certification – a scheme that recognises farms that are managed to the standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), including environmental protection, economic viability, and improved social standards for farmers, farm workers, and their families.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    Find out more about this
  • Kenya

    Project focus: improving agricultural practices

    Project reach: 563,031 farmers as well as their families

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton, PG Tips, Brooke Bond, Lyons & others

    Project focus: better yields for tea farmers in Kenya

    Over 560,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya have met the standards required for Rainforest Alliance certification. This is the result of a collaboration between Unilever, the Rainforest Alliance and the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA). Further to certification, Unilever is also working with KTDA and IDH to run Farmer Field Schools to help share best agricultural practices, increase yield, and improve quality. By the end of 2015, over 2,500 Farmer Field Schools had been established, which had trained over 77,000 lead farmers.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more about this
  • Tanzania

    Project focus: increasing incomes for allanblackia farmers in Tanzania

    Project reach: 5,500 farmers and collectors

    Project focus: increasing incomes for allanblackia farmers in Tanzania

    Unilever's role in the Allanblackia partnership has brought about a substantial increase in the number of allanblackia trees planted by smallholders in Tanzania since 2006. These trees require time to grow and are expected to start delivering significant additional allanblackia oil beyond 2020. The fruit of the allanblackia tree, which is commonly found in rainforests, is rich in oil, but has been ‘wild harvested'. Through the partnership, Unilever is helping the transition from wild harvesting to the sustainable domestication of the tree, in a supply chain, which conserves biodiversity and brings benefit to local communities.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more about this
  • Tanzania

    Project focus: creating jobs linked to Unilever Tea Tanzania’s estates

    Project reach: 30,000 people

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: PG Tips, Lipton, Joko, Brooke Bond & others

    Project focus: creating jobs linked to Unilever's Mufundi tea estates

    Working in partnership with the government of Tanzania, Unilever is helping secure sustainable and improved livelihoods for thousands of smallholder tea farmers in the Mufindi and Njombe regions of Tanzania. Overall, 5,000 new jobs are expected to be created on Unilever's Tanzanian tea estates, while 6,000 hectares of smallholder tea farms will also be developed and improved.

    In 2015, Unilever worked with over 1,200 existing smallholder farmers and 200 hectares of new tea has been planted. In the next planting season, starting in December 2015, an additional 300 hectares of tea is expected to be planted. Our partners, The Wood Foundation, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and UK Department for International Development (DFID), supports the work in Njombe, while the project in Mufindi is with the support of IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more about this
  • Turkey

    Project focus: health initiatives for women

    Project reach: 10,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton

    Project focus: health initiatives for women tea farmers in Turkey

    At tea plantations in Turkey, our work with smallholder farmers in Turkey aims to go beyond agricultural improvements. Almost 80% of the farmers are women, so we donated a scanning machine to promote the early detection of cancers, as part of a major programme and ten individual projects on sustainable tea farming since 2011.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    • Planting Materials

      We have provided planting material (high yielding seed) to farmers

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more about this
  • India

    Project focus: partnership to improve livelihoods

    Project reach: 600+ factories, 500,000 tea plantation workers, 40,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Red Label, Taj Mahal, 3 Roses, BB Taaza

    Project focus: training tea farmers in India

    Unilever is co-funding a five year programme to produce around 500,000 tonnes of tea sustainably. The programme aims to improve the lives of thousands of plantation workers and smallholder farmers, covering the social, economic and environmental facets of tea growing. The project is jointly funded by Unilever, IDH, and Tata Global Beverages Ltd with Solidaridad and the Ethical Tea Partnership implementing at field-level.

    The programme has been extended until 2018. At the end of 2017, trustea had verified 536 factories, 490k tea plantation workers and 38,030 smallholder farmers. For more info refer www.trustea.org

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    Find out more about this
  • India

    Find out more about this Impact
  • Sri Lanka

    Project focus: training smallholder farmers & tea plantation workers to transform sustainable tea production

    Project reach: Approx. 40,000 tea farmers and 200,000 tea plantation workers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton, Brooke Bond, Emblem, Club & others

    Project focus: teaching green gherkin farmers climate resilience techniques in India

    An initiative between Unilever, Pepsi Lipton International and Rainforest Alliance to drive large-scale change in the tea industry. The aim is to increase yields, income, and improve access to global markets through training thousands of farmers and plantation workers in sustainable agriculture practices..

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    Find out more about this
  • India

    Project focus: female entrepreneur has enabled yield increases for many farmers

    Project reach: 5,800 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tomatoes

    Brand/s: Kissan

    Project focus: training smallholder farmers to transform sustainable tea production in India

    Working together, Unilever and Manisha Dhatrak and her company Varun Agro have trained 3,000 smallholder famers who in turn provide 100% of the sustainably sourced tomatoes for Kissan, the Indian ketchup brand. In emerging markets, supporting smallholder farming is the most effective way of stimulating economic development and reducing poverty. The programme works with farmers to give them access to reliable contracts, better services, and training and tools, such as implementing drip irrigation. Unilever sources these tomatoes locally, helps smallholder farmers to triple their income, reduce their costs, and double their yields.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers

    Find out more about this
  • Vietnam

    Project focus: integrating smallholders into quality and sustainable tea supply chains

    Project reach: 16,500 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: Lipton, Sariwangi, Brooke Bond, Saga & others

    Project focus: improve the long-term economic, environmental and social sustainability of smallholder farmers

    Working on the next stage of the programme with the support of the Rainforest Alliance and IDH the sustainable trade initiative, we are working to promote the sustainable development of the tea industry in Vietnam by building the global perception of Vietnamese as high-quality tea using a Public-Private Partnership approach. This includes, enhancing legislation, building capacity, and improving practices to increase yield and improve quality.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    Find out more about this
  • Indonesia

    Project Focus: Driving sustainable palm oil in North Sumatra

    Project reach: 63 smallholder farmers

    Crop: palm oil

    Brand/s: across category, including Foods & Refreshment, Home and Beauty & Personal Care

    Palm oil seeds in a man's hand

    Together with IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative, PT Perkebunan Nusantara III Persero (PTPN III), and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), we are working to drive sustainable palm oil through the RSPO certification programme. Working with UD Lestari, a group of independent farmers, 63 farmers received the first RSPO certification in North Sumatera in 2017, of which 30% were women.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Planting Materials

      We have provided planting material (high yielding seed) to farmers

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more about this
  • Indonesia

    Project focus: technical assistance and finance training

    Project reach: 9,000 farmers, including over 3,300 women growers

    Crop: black soy bean

    Brand/s: Bango

    Project focus: Education programmes for black soy bean farmers in Indonesia

    Unilever partnered with the Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia to help make a difference to the lives of farmers of black soy bean: a vital ingredient in the country's popular Bango soy sauce brand. A new variety of black soybean, Mallika, came out of this partnership – robust enough to withstand tough growing conditions.

    The program currently covers 17 regencies in Java with eight cooperatives. In 2009, a Field School initiative launched as a methodological approach to accelerate the adoption of the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code (USAC). In addition, a women’s empowerment program has been introduced in the community.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    Find out more about this
  • Madagascar

    Project focus: Multi-partnership to support vanilla farming communities in Madagascar

    Project reach: 31,000 people in over 6,000 households

    Crop: vanilla

    Brand/s: Breyers, Carte D’Or

    Project focus: Multi-partnership to support vanilla farming communities in Madagascar

    Unilever, Symrise and GIZ have joined forces with Save the Children to expand an existing smallholder farmer programme in Madagascar. The new partnership will build on the work of the last three years and help improve the livelihoods of vanilla farming communities in the Sava region.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more about this
  • Indonesia

    Project focus: implementing mobile technology

    Project reach: 60+ smallholder farmers

    Crop: coconut sugar

    Brand/s: Bango

    Project focus: Implementing mobile technology

    Working in partnership with Vodafone, Unilever piloted a mobile technology based platform to smallholder farmers. Through targeted SMS messages, the project aimed to help implement best practices, increase access to markets and reduce transactional costs. The pilot ran until the end of 2016.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more about this
  • Tanzania

    Project focus: implementing mobile technology

    Project reach: 621 smallholder farmers

    Crop: tea

    Brand/s: PG Tips, Lipton, Joko, Brooke Bond & others

    Project focus: implementing mobile technology

    Working in partnership with Vodafone, Unilever piloted a mobile technology based platform to smallholder farmers. Through targeted SMS messages, the project aimed to help implement best practices, increase access to markets and reduce transactional costs. The pilot ran until the end of 2016.

    • Resources

      We have provided resource directly to a project of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Support Activities

      We have been directly involved in agronomic support activities targeted at the farmers.

    Find out more about this
  • Haiti

    Project: strategic partnership to improve livelihoods

    Project reach: 1,000 people, including 200 farmers & their families

    Crop: vetiver

    Brand/s: Axe, Impulse

    Project focus: strategic partnership to improve livelihoods

    Together with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), we are working to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by improving food security, increasing yields, and diversifying income, while working to support women’s empowerment and environmental conservation. This two year project is part of the Enhancing Livelihoods Fund set up by Unilever, Oxfam, and Ford Foundation.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more about this
  • Indonesia

    Project Focus: Driving a new approach to sustainable palm oil

    Project reach: approximately 600 smallholders

    Crop: palm oil

    Brand/s: across category, including Foods & Refreshment and Home & Personal Care

    Project focus: helping cocoa farmers in West Africa gain Rainforest Alliance certification

    Unilever has signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support a jurisdictional approach to achieve sustainable palm oil at village level. The partnership is the first public-private partnership agreement among sub-national governments and an international buyer on sustainable palm oil. The certification of all the smallholders in Pangkalan Tiga would make it the first certified ‘sustainable village’ in the world for palm oil and it is the first project for RSPO certified smallholders in Indonesia outside of Sumatra.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    • Environmental Savings

      We pay for technical solutions that create environmental savings and yield improvements.

    • Investment

      We pay premiums to suppliers for investment in farmer replanting/agronomy programmes.

    • Planting Materials

      We have provided planting material (high yielding seed) to farmers

    • Network

      We link expert organisations to our suppliers/farmers to build, for example, pest management programmes.

    Find out more about this
  • Indonesia

    Project Focus: sustainable patchouli in Indonesia

    Project reach: 2,000 smallholder farmers

    Crop: patchouli

    Brand/s: Comfort

    Project focus: sustainable patchouli in Indonesia

    In 2014, we approached our supplier, Firmenich to review the patchouli supply chain in Indonesia. Patchouli is an important crop across our home and personal care brands, and we supported Firmenich in conducting a comprehensive baseline study and developing a programme to suit current needs.

    The programme launched in July 2014 and currently reaches over 300 farmers in four sourcing areas in central Java. The programme aims to reach around 2,000 farmers by 2020.

    • Cash Contribution

      We have contributed cash to
      programmes of farmer training.

    Find out more about this

Overview of programmes

Overview of programmes

Download our infographic (PDF) which shows key stats from our smallholder farmer programmes

Infographic of progress

Inforgraphic of progress in Sustainable Sourcing

Download our infographic (PDF) which shows where we are providing help and training to 600,000 smallholder farmers

Spotlight on a farmer

Spotlight on a farmer

Meet Christina, a vanilla farmer from Madagascar, and hear how she is implementing sustainable agriculture

Sustainable sourcing in action

Manisha Dhatrak of Varun Agro with a tomato farmer in India

Meet Manisha, a businesswoman from India who set up a processing plant to stop local crops being wasted

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